Since the age of five I have always worried a little too much of what I looked like, what I wore, and how others thought of how I looked. These aspects have given me a keen eye for what I wear and also what others wears as well, in turn sparking a very large interest in fashion.
I try to keep very up to date with fashion not only around me but around the world, what celebrities are wearing, and what designers are creating. One of the places that I have always thought has been a mecca of fashion is Japan. Japan is a culture of no fear fashion, sporting everything from wild colors, animated themed clothing, to doll like looks. Even though I believe these fashion statements may never gain much attraction here in the United States or even amongst my own style, I believe with a culture of no fear fashion it has shown others around the world that anything could be the next trend or craze. Along with the fashion of Japan, the electronics industry has Japan has always been a leap ahead of the rest, so being able to experience never before seen technology would be amazing.
Being that this would be a very educational experience I feel that continuing my education and fulfilling a dream would best fit by doing a “study abroad” program. We conveniently have an Oregon State Study Abroad program here. This is how other students who were in my own situation have got to travel and go to school. Being that this is school related, financial aid can assist in paying for this. Using the study abroad programs I would not have to worry too much about the cost and would be guided on where to stay for affordable pricing. I know that traveling will cost a substantial amount more but budgeting, finding deals on flights, and sometimes living in school quarters may make this cost efficient. Cost will most likely be the largest barrier for me to get over, but I know that I have my parents if financial aid does not cover it all. My parents have always been supportive and I know that if anything were to happen I could depend on them whether it is financially or emotionally. I know that this will be a giant step away from home and I have never been away from my parents for that long, but I know that if I can go to a different country and be successful in my education and growing as a person, I would have become a stronger and better person, everything my parents want me to be.
In order to grasp how big of a financial burden this dream may be, I will have to outline my current expenses and see if this dream is potentially feasible or if I will need to find an alternate source for funding this trip. Being that I work part time at a local restaurant I bring in a decent amount of money from my wage and tips. I also get help from my parents who give me money to cover living expenses and school expenses that my financial aid and scholarships can’t cover. As far as expenses, like mentioned earlier school tuition, books, and other fees are covered by my scholarships and financial aid. Other then school, living expenses cost the most. The biggest, and what I believe to be the most important expense left is my budgeted expense for shopping. This is due to my interest in fashion and love for clothing. Calculating all my income and expenses up, I end up with a net balance of $2,725, which I generally put away in my savings for future expenses or emergencies. From the look of my current expenses my trip to Japan may be in reaching distance, but i will have to remember that when I am in Japan I will no longer be earning my normal $2,000 income from work, so I will have to depend on my savings from before the actual trip to cover expenses.
Now that I know my own expenses I will have to research and estimate how much it will cost to do the study abroad to Japan. Being that Oregon State University has a study abroad program I was able to find the program that most students who study abroad go through, which is called Oregon Abroad . Through their website I was able to see what sort of programs they offered and get a glimpse of how much financially this trip would cost. I was able to compare three different universities and look their estimated costs for the spring term. First was Waseda University, which totaled about $17,841, this included my own addition to entertainment, shopping, and food outside the university expenses. The next was Aoyama Gakuin University (AGU) which had an estimated cost of $16,999. The third university I was able to compare was Akita International University , which estimated to be $15,588. All the options are pretty close when estimating expenses and no one option is significantly lower then the other, giving it a better reason to be chosen then the others.
Depending on the classes I wanted to take, after reading the Oregon Abroad reviews, it shows that certain classes are rated higher at the different universities. I would need to do a bit more research on what classes i would like to take in Japan, as well as research more depth on which universities would leave time for travel outside the close proximity. Either way the experience of Japan, both in the view of culture and fashion, I would be very blessed to have the chance to absorb the knowledge and times there. I can not wait to make this happen in the near future!