August 28, 2012
Kristina Cashin will study in Kyoto for 2012-2013 academic year.
By Sherrie Voss Matthews, International Media & Marketing Coordinator
Kristina Cashin, a junior Modern Language Studies major from Houston, will spend the next year immersed in Japanese language and culture as she studies at the Kyoto University of Foreign Studies. We chatted with her a bit before she left the U.S.; after she learned she had received the national Freeman-ASIA Scholarship, which helped to fund her studies abroad this year.
What are your expectations of study abroad?
I think living in Japan for about a year will be the highlight of my college career. I've been wanting to live in Japan for so long; this is a bit like a dream to me. While abroad I hope to become fluent in Japanese, or as close to fluency as possible. I want to study hard and have as much fun outside of class as possible. I also want to make a ton of new friends both Japanese and other international students.
How are you planning to spend your free time abroad?
I want to be as social as possible. I want to go out with new found friends as much as I can. I can't wait to experience Kyoto's night life with new people. I absolutely have to go to as many Japanese festivals as possible. I also want to do my fair share of shopping and sight-seeing. I want to travel all around Kyoto, and Japan, and of course, study.
Where would you like to visit in Japan?
I really want to go to Hokkaido (Japan's northern-most island). I really want to go to one of their famous hot springs. I would also love to go to Tokyo and just spend a whole day shopping and sight-seeing. I also want to go to other regions of Japan, like Osaka and Hiroshima. During the summer, I really want to go to some of the beaches in Japan, too.
Who or what inspired you to go to Japan?
I would have to say my mother really inspired my interest in Asian culture as a whole. When I was a child, my mother would always watch Asian movies and that really got me interested in the culture. Throughout my years I slowly drifted toward Japanese culture. I took my first Japanese language class in high school; that was when I fell in love with the language.
What would you say to other UTSA students who might hesitant to go abroad?
Just do it! It will probably be one of the highest points in your college career. Living in a new place and learning a new culture and language will truly be an amazing experience. I really can’t see why anyone wouldn’t want to do study abroad. If you don’t want to be away from home too long, just spend a summer abroad. If you think you can’t afford it there are tons of scholarship opportunities out there. With good planning anyone can study abroad.
Students interested in studying abroad should discuss possibilities with the staff at Education Abroad Services, MB 1.210
Freeman-ASIA accepts applications from U.S. citizens or permanent residents studying at the undergraduate level at a two-year or four-year college or university who demonstrate financial need to study abroad in East or Southeast Asia. Freeman-ASIA is sponsored by the Freeman Foundation. The Freeman Foundation's major objectives include strengthening the bonds of friendship between the United States and countries of East Asia. Through education and educational institutes, the foundation hopes to develop a greater appreciation of Asian cultures, histories, and economies in the United States and a better understanding of the American people and of American institutions and purposes by the peoples of East Asia.