Keep a diary during a student exchange!
As I am regulary uploading translated entries from the diary, I kept while my student exchange in Japan, I want to talk about these diaries as an activity more closely today.
I wrote every day in Japan, approximately about three pages each day. This filled 3 1/2 diary books of diffrent size. Now, while translating these pages is the first time, I look at this words after I wrote them.
Writing a diary on a daily basis in the foreign country's languaguage may seem like very much effort, that is not wort it. Today, I want to explain, why this is not true.
Firstly, I would recommend keeping some kind of diary during good way to remember and review your experience.
a student exchange. This does not neccessarily have to be daily or in a foreign language, but it is as a diary itself very good. Although you might think that memories of a student exchange would not fade away too easily, you are likely to forget a lot of them after returning home, simply because there are so much memories to make in a foreign country. Keeping this memories in a diary is a
As for this, I think it is good to not only write down not only the actions of the day but also your personal thoughts and feelings. They will be very likely to change while the student exchange and you can see your personal process. While reading my diaries, I am sometimes astonished, what and how I thought about things. In Japan, it also helped me realizing that I was indeed making some progress (what I did not really believe). Furthermore, I got a little philosophical in this foreign country because a student exchange somehow triggers deeper feelings and insights. It was good keeping them.
But for a diary, I believe that it is best to write it almost every day. If you write a monthly or weekly diary, you will of course cover the most important or interesting things in this time, but you will not write down small details and daily feelings. One could say that, as they are small, such details do not matter but I think diffrently. As I was making new experiences daily (especially at the beginning) it would have been impossible keeping all of them in my mind to write them down at the end of the week. As I was exploring a new country, there were countless details and small facts that, put together, build my experience and thougts about it. Weekly entries would also not really cover feelings. I had some bad days, but they were always days and not weeks. by writing daily, I was able to recognize these bad days as well and draw a realistic picture of my feelings back then.
Nextly, I would highly recommend writing the diary in the country's language. This is definitely the seccond best practice after speaking and using the language. Writing a diary in Japanese took a lot of time, especially at the beginning. I had to look up a lot of vocabulary in my dictionary and often struggled with sentences. But as I was using this vocabulary I quickly learned them as well as the ability to build more complicated phrases. I would also sometimes give the diary to my hostmother, who corrected some pages. Direct correction is a great language boost as well. Writing a Japanese diary was definitely an important help for studying the language.
As you can see, the effort of writing a diary is definitely worth the benefits, it brings.
I hope you enjoyed this article and I will see you soon