Interview with an American exchange student, Sergio Lagunas


Otemae University staff and students recently hosted Sergio Lagunas, an exchange student from one of our partner institutions, Chemeketa Community College. He was kind enough to answer some questions about his time in Japan.

What was your favourite experience from your exchange semester?

I can’t say that I had a favorite experience during my semester at Otemae because I genuinely enjoyed my entire experience as a whole. I enjoyed helping out with the LEO classes because I was able to meet a lot of people as well as making friends. Just being in a different environment like Japan was really cool.

On the flip-side, what did you struggle with?

It was probably during my third week at Otemae that I began to feel a bit out of place. I began to realize that I wasn’t home and it just hit me out of nowhere. I realized that I had to adapt to this new environment and I did. Being able to do so really helped me enjoy the rest of my stay at Otemae.

You visited quite a few places while you were here... what is one place you'd recommend?

For some reason I really enjoyed going to Kyoto. I visited the city three times and I spent a whole weekend there once. I think what I really liked about Kyoto was that it’s a big city with a small town vibe. My favorite spot was along the Kamo River near Kawaramachi.

Your Japanese improved a fair bit while you were here...Could you share an online resource you found useful?

It improved a little bit (hahaha). For online resources I occasionally used the website from the Japanese textbook, Yokoso.The website is used for extra practice to reinforce the material from the textbook.

Finally, could you share with us an interesting Japanese word/phrase you learnt here? How did you learn it (any funny stories)?

Hmmm. I have a lot of stories actually but I don’t know if they’re considered appropriate! So those are stories for another day. But being in the Kansai area of Japan I had a lot of moments where I learned the Kansai ben version of standard Japanese words.

Sergio at the Arashiyama bamboo groves, Kyoto.

Author of this article

Daniel Tang

Daniel Tang

Modern Social Studies


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