I am living with a host family at the moment--I have three younger host brothers: Satoshi (age 7), Shunsuke (age 5) and Yusaku (age 2). I was a little nervous the first day, but I knew things would be okay when, on the first night, myself and a fellow homestay student living with the sister of my host father got to play "Cops and Robbers" with all of the children of the families. Imagine two giant gaijin (Japanese for foreigners) running like mad from a gaggle of Japanese youths through the crowded streets of an Osaka suburb, and you have an idea of what life for me is like right now.
A few days before that, I gave a speech during the opening ceremony of the 2010 academic year for my school in Japan. I was chosen as the representative for the incoming foreign students because the administrators enjoyed my application essay. I had to bow to the teachers on the right of the podium, bow to the American and Australian consuls on the left of the podium, and bow to the audience before my speech. Afterword, I had to repeat the process. The faculty seemed to enjoy my speech. When I met the president of the university, I thanked him for the opportunity and he said, through a translator, that I had, "a Japanese heart." Who knew?
Give my best to your new Global Studies students. If they are considering Global Studies as a major, tell them it is worth it. If they have chosen it as a major, congratulate them for me. It is a program that takes you places you wouldn't imagine.