Day 52: Letter to My Twin Soka Brothers and Sisters [2/5] / by Sarah Kakusho

Fudgesicles, It’s only the second full month and I’m going insane… it’s okay. I’ve already gotten through being sick twice and severely depressed. It’s all downhill from here. I’ll make it through. Aaa… the hustle and bustle of being BUSY. Yay. So, here’s another entry dedicated to tips that could help YOU [whoever “you” may be] with your study abroad experience. This list was compiled by Erika, Maddy and I, a lot of it based on our travel to Mendoza.

  • Be specific. Or else you’ll get something that you didn’t have in mind.

  • If you don’t like being around smokers, make sure you write that on your housing application, or forever hold your nose.

  • Carry toilet paper around with you. Whether it’s an entire roll or even a thing of tissues, bring it! Some bathrooms don’t have them in the stalls and instead have people that give you toilet paper and ask for tip.

  • Always wear sunglasses. People won’t stare at you as much.

  • Even if you mention you’re a vegetarian, you should say “No jamón.” Apparently they put ham on everything as if it were a vegetable.

  • Bring feminine products enough for your study abroad. It can be pricey.

  • Always at least a cama class on bus trips. Anything lower and you’ll be stuck with movies with sound shown without sound, gum everywhere, and an interesting meal…

  • Pack extra socks. You never know when a rainy day will sogg-ify your socks…

  • Plastic bags. They are versatile…even to keep your feet dry and warm.

  • Don’t give Kusho alcohol [says Erika… ~_~;; poo…].

  • Hostels are an experience everyone should have. Meet people who are also traveling, nice rooms and usually have tours that you can pay to do.

  • Corollary to hostels: If you’re looking for a hostel online, DON’T always go with the one with best reviews and nice pictures. It can be deceiving.

  • Bring your own office supplies. Ideally, post-its, paper clips, highlighters, note tabs, and one huge multi-subject notebook. It’s expensive…

  • Start using military/24-hour time. It’ll make life a lot easier.

  • Bring chopsticks if you prefer them over forks.

  • Long-sleeved shirts are awesome for hiding money and your keys when in hand.

  • On sidewalks, couples get the right of way. If one is walking towards you, move to the side. If you don’t, they’ll run you down, complete with fingers intertwined, arms linked and all.

  • Buy a converter for your laptop and don’t forget to take it with you when you travel.

  • Double check that you have cold meds, sinus/allergy meds, itch cream, acid reliever, and anything else that would help treat whatever medical problem you’ve ever had…

  • Always carry an umbrella. Caution: umbrella traffic is terrible on rainy days.

  • Remember how much everything is on the menu when you’re at a restaurant.

  • No judgment, no slander, no fear. Open up and the world will open for you.

  • Listen to music in the language you are studying. Seriously, 100 comprehension and vocabulary skill points right there.

  • Be wary of fat pigeons.

  • Believe it or not, a language button exists in your head and sometimes, it gets stuck in English. Fix it or else you’re in for hell. DX

  • Always carry a Winning Life. You just never know who will approach you.

  • Don’t stress, especially about things you can’t do anything about. It’s just more stress and physical strain. Think positive and you’ll get through.

  • We are all ambassadors of SUA, whether we want to or not. There will always be people who want to know more about SUA and the values that are being created there. Represent.

  • Traveling with other SUA people is fun. 8]

I’ve realized study abroad is more than getting out of the Soka bubble to study. It’s to reach out to a whole new world that’s just as exciting and comforting as SUA. I just needed to open my eyes, take a step back and look for it. Classes are gradually getting harder, and I’ve even encountered my first being-called-on-in-class today. It’s crazy how much one can go through in a matter of mas o menos 50 days. Crazy.

I’m going to start filming a proto of a small project soon that I [might] have to do for one of my classes sobre Buenos Aires. I’ve been struck by inspiration and life, and hopefully that’ll come through in what I make. Living a life of creativity!

Best wishes to you fellow X-mates of MMX Dynasty.


P.S. I just counted… 1/3 of my study abroad has already gone by. Waaaaat!

The silent X.