Name: Miguel Felix Alberto

Majors: International Business and Marketing

Minor: Japanese

Program: Temple University

Where: Japan

When: Spring 2009

Favorite Course: Fundamentals of Asian Business

Highlight: Getting use to public transportation

Best Excursion: Overnight bus to Kyoto and the Kansai District

Favorite Dish: Katsu Don (Chicken Cutlet over Rice and Fried Egg)

Least Favorite Dish: Blowfish


What did you learn to love about the culture(s)?
In class I learned a great metaphor for culture which I apply especially to Japanese culture. “Culture is like an iceberg. The explicit part of culture can be found on top and the tacit, the massive chunk, is found under water.” I used this metaphor for everything about Japanese culture I did not understand. It means that only a small amount of culture can be actually explained, seen, or read about. The massive amount of culture can only be experienced and lived. I can talk about what I experienced in Japan for days but it will never be able to teach/tell about the culture.


How do you see this experience affecting your future?

I found that I am more open to experience anything. After being in Japan and forcing myself to see and experience the culture, I feel myself to be ready to experience anything bold and new.

What was one fear you had before going? Would you have this same fear if you were going to study abroad again? Why or why not?

Before going it didn’t hit me that I was going to Japan. I can remember the specific moment when it did. I was sitting on the plane and as soon as that plane left the ground I remember just freaking out thinking, “Oh crap… I am going to Japan.” There were several negative thoughts just looming through my head. My number one fear was getting lost on landing and not being able to get in touch with anybody. I eventually just calmed down and actually found people on the same TUJ program while on the plane.


How have you used the language since you returned from your study abroad experience? How do you plan to use it in the future?

Of course being in Japan I used as much Japanese as I could with anyone that seemed like they wouldn’t kill me if I approached them. There were many of times where I would just spark a conversation with someone right next to me on the train. When I came back, I kept in touch with most of my Japanese friends on Skype. We still try to do a language exchange, even across seas. I have high hopes to intern with a Japanese company and market products from Japan to neighboring countries and the United States.