My name is Yui Tanabe, I’m from Japan. I came here as an AFS exchange student. In the beginning, I miss Japan so much but now, I’m glad to be here because I am gradually getting used to the atmosphere. I decided to write this essay because I want to look back on my stay and I want to tell you the reasons why I chose the Czech Republic.
First, I thought Czech dishes and Japanese dishes are very different. I’m interested in food and in the future, I want to learn/study nutrition and food science in university, so I wanted to see and learn how to cook Czech/ European food and how different it is.
Second, I really wanted to stay in Europe where there are many historical places and a lot of nature. I was interested in historical monuments and woods/nature that still existed without being touched or rebuilt. I heard the traditional things of the Czech Republic were still left and existed, out of other countries in Europe, so I’m very glad I got to be here.
Third, I felt destined to be here! My parents visited the Czech Republic for their honeymoon. Looking back at their photos and listening to their adventure made my heartbeat!
On the third day of my arrival, I met my host family for the first time. I was very nervous at first because I’m not a great speaker myself, and not fluent in English. Also, I didn’t know about tradition or the country very well. But the meeting was very well thanks to my family. I have two host brothers and parents.
I only have a sister in Japan so having brothers was all so new to me and exciting. The family made me very comfortable playing games and chatting. Sometimes, they teach me the language. Although I’m not a great speaker, and quiet, they tried to understand me which makes me feel at home. Now, I’m gradually making friends and learning the cultures of the Czech Republic and AFS. I lived in a beautiful city called Olomouc. I found out that this city is a very historical city.
As I mentioned before, I love historical places and I’m from a city surrounded by big buildings, so I7m so happy to be here. It’s so different from Japan. I went to some historical places with like Church, with my family. I saw the statue of Holy Trinity Column Olomouc when I walked into the city. My host family told me the history of the Czech Republic and the meaning of the statue. Also, famous things about Olomouc.
I also can see a lot of nature here. We went to pick mushrooms in the woods. In Japan, most mushrooms are sold in the stores because we are told that it is dangerous to eat wild mushrooms. But here, almost all are edible. I also like a mushroom soup that my host parents made. I want to bring back the recipe and cook for my family in Japan.
It is the third month of my stay, I need to boost up my Czech and break my language barrier. But for now, I want to thank my host family, AFS staff and volunteers, my contact person, friends at school, and teachers for the patient with me, trying to get attached. Děkuji moc
Yui Tanabe; exchange student from Japan