#UbishopsAbroad: Meet Catherine Venne

The Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) launched the Learning Beyond Borders program to provoke a national conversation on learning abroad.

At Bishop’s University, we nurture studying abroad as a transformational life-changing experience, opening minds to different ways of living, promoting understanding, contributing to academic success, enhancing communication skills, self-awareness, and adaptability. It also offers opportunities to develop soft skills such as critical thinking and problem-solving, deemed necessary in a global workforce. To promote this national conversation, we are featuring Bishop’s students who have taken advantage of our study abroad program.

Meet Catherine Venne, a BA Major in Modern Languages, Hispanic and Japanese Studies, who studied at Yamaguchi Prefectural University in Yamaguchi, Japan. 

“I spent eleven wonderful months in Japan as part of an exchange program as a Bishop’s University student. My stay in Yamaguchi allowed me to experience an aspect of Japan that travelling as a tourist would not have. Every time I went outside, I could see the beautiful sight of Japan’s countryside, with its mountains, and flowers all year around. I could experience the feeling of being the minority, something you do not really understand unless you experience it. Also, the people at Yamaguchi Prefectural University were very kind. They make sure you have everything you need, and will help you if you have questions or problems. YPU even give you a student tutor and a sensei tutor to help you.

Although Yamaguchi seems small, I think there is everything you need without having to go too far: groceries, stores, restaurants, izakayas, billiard, Karaoke, footbath, onsen and so on. The only thing I missed is a pool, since I like to swim. I really enjoyed discovering the prefecture of Yamaguchi.

When I first came to Japan, I had about two years of Japanese study, but my level was not quite good enough to take classes taught in Japanese other than sport classes, pottery, calligraphy, tea ceremony, and flower arrangement. However, there are many classed for foreign students taught in English, and they were interesting. I learned a lot about Japanese culture in class and outside by speaking with Japanese students, and making Japanese friends. YPU offers a good balance between Japanese study and life. I made friends, I travelled and experience traditional Japanese culture. I tried to say yes to everything (school activities, bus tours, going to high schools to teach English, going out with friends, parties, and so on), I think that is how you experience the most.

During my first semester, we had the opportunity to live with a Japanese family for a weekend. My host family, the Kifune, were very kind. I spent most of my time with the mother and her three wonderful boys. We visited a shine, we went shopping, we went to a big park and to a festival to play with the children, and we cooked together. I really enjoyed my stay with them.

I definitely recommend YPU to future exchange students. I hope I will have the opportunity to come back to Yamaguchi in the future.”

 

 


 

 

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