Thursday, December 23, 2010

Dear you

Hey readers,This is to you. Past (unlikely), present and/or future.

I would like to write my blog to inform and entertain all. I know, now as I type, the page views are quite few. However, with time, I hope I can gain more gradually as I actually go to Japan, come back and what not. There is not much, I can provide for you, but I'm trying my best. Although, my blood belong to my Chinese parents, I was born and lived in Australia for the past 15 years, without leaving the country (Yes, I never been overseas before...). Therefore, I will experience everything freshly and despite my acceptance, I'll still probably get a cultural shock.
The key is to expect the unexpected.
Sure, I'll write about all the typical Japan aspects but I will give you the honest truth.

To those who are looking forward for a student exchange trip in the close future/currently on student exchange program, I hope whatever I write will apply to you and you will enjoy this. I would like to assist others as I believe that being on a student exchange program is a one-in-a-life time experience. Those from Australia would know that we have the troubles of the School Cert and HSC, which in short, pain in the arse and if you have parents like mine, you would know that, they don't want you to miss out on your education. However, being hosted in a country, no matter where you are or how long you stay, is sometimes hard to come across as you finish school and you really have to learn to appreciate what you shall go on. As I am on a full scholarship of JENSEYS year program, I'm extremely grateful and I wish to learn a lot to take full advantage. Some of you were prepared by reading some papers and general guidelines, however, I searched above and beyond the Internet and attend camps, and yet...I don't feel ready.
So I'm summing up all I've really learnt and putting it on here, so you guys have a shortcut.
If you start a blog or vlog (video blog), anyone, please tell me, no matter which country you are going to. I'm eager to communicate with other students globally and learn about what you learn.

If you are going to/currently in Japan for exchange, I hope I can give you ideas as to what you want to do in Japan and you can suggest things to do while I'm there. I'm interested in others prefectures and what makes each of them different.

For those just looking forward to travelling in Japan, you are welcome to read about my personal experience with the Japanese culture. Please leave any suggestions/questions for what to try via comment on the post or email me.

Distant future readers,

Thank god, this isn't quite dead yet, ha! I'm sure blogs will be wiped out as technology advances but whatever. I'm not comfortable with my lazy appearance due to the summer break to do any vlogs.

My friends and family, I'll be fine and you guys better take care of yourselves.
Mum, don't you dare cry when I go.
Bwahaha, Patrick! Leaving the dishes to you for a year! >:D
Bronte, Sorry for not physically being there for you but I <3 you. :]

Bitches, Finally some escape from your evils. Tiff:1, Poopyheads:0. Yeah, I went there. >:D
I'll miss you all (that's a lie >:D)

My experience meter...
BUT don't worry, as time passes, I'll reach the next level! *cough* I mean, go to Japan.

One more sleep until Christmas but meh. Every year its the same thing and yer. After a Christmas lunch, We just go home and eat a pretty normal dinner.
I'll probably still be able to write a blog.
Maybe on the choice of country.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Taking your gadgets :/

Taking an iPod onto the plane is fine, because there are somethings you just cannot live without, mine being music.
However, expensive things like iPhone/Blackberries and super-pricey stuff are best left home, especially if you are going aboard for only a short period of time.

Australia is a very luxurious nation compared to many other countries. Most Australians have a place to stay, food to eat and safe clean water, meanwhile some people survive on $2 a day. (I did the World Vision, 40 hour famine, :P)

Many host families have a limited amount of technology, since most of the time, with any country, you are placed further away from the city to experience the real culture. Some unfortunate exchange students were not able to trust their host families and there are stories and blah, blah, blah (let's not get depressing but...). Some host families might envy or become curious about your valuables and might fiddle and touch without permission. I haven't heard of this much in Japan much but you never know.

Things like laptops are convenient but might affect your learning experience. Social networks like Facebook are useful for contacting and such and such but talking to your friends and family might develop some homesickness and consume your time. Your friends might scold you for not keeping up to date with them but it's worth it. If you are forgiven, you know they are friends to keep forever. People going for less than 6 months are recommended to not take laptops. Besides, you can learn to live without the Internet and that increases your chance in surviving a zombie apocalypse and alien invasion. Yeah, it'll come in handy.
To avoid telling the same stories over and over and over again, to your loved ones, write a blog/ record vlogs like me :)
Just tell me even if my exchange program is already over, I want to know how other people experienced things, if I missed out on something or didn't go to that country.
I actually really wanted to go to England, South korea, Germany and Hong kong and many other places. I'll go to one of them as a volunteer program after all of my studies including university/college. 

I got new crayons and so far I drew a dinosaur with wings, a mini comic of my epic fail in Xbox and a face of a hipster.
I got to lose weight before I leave. I'm the okay weight in Australia but Australia is now 'the fattest nation'. Yeah, that sucks. Those Japanese girls? Thin as Pocky. Haha.

Night xo,

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Love issues...*bleh*

Hey guys & girls.

An issue you probably will deal with is the complications of love.
Before, During, and After your exchange trip.
One-sided or with your sweetheart.
Ew, right?
Just the word 'love' is hard to say.
I'm just a kid, what can I say. xD
However, you probably thought about it right?
It's going to be down-right dayum-straight difficult.
With whenever situation your in, use some logic and think it out.
I know, I know.
"You're just a fifteen year chick, what would you know? You haven't even been on the exchange trip yet!"
Well, I'm just using my noodle and it's my opinion and advice I have learnt from others. Don't like what I say? 
A wise man (Jason Mraz) said "And it takes no time to fall in love

But it takes you years to know what love is"
So don't think you know what you are really doing because, young grasshopper, you are probably incorrect
Don't be rash or whatever...will you two even be together let alone talk to each other in 5 years time? Will your teenage relationships matter? Will you regret how it all got in the way of your exploring/learning experience? Keep those questions in mind and branch off them if you can. Anyhow, let's carry on.
*mystical sounds*
Let explore some scenarios...

1. Requited Love in your home country.
You like a guy/girl at school but haven't done anything about it.
My opinion is to not tell them and just wait.
You could met someone new mega foxy/hawt on your exchange that tickles your fancy and your feelings for that other person could be long gone.
Unless you are 100% sure you can trust them, I think you should ride solo.

2. You have a girlfriend/boyfriend in you home country
You guys just have to trust each other.
However, if you are not so serious about each other, either go with the flow or ride solo.
You can't really expect them to stay loyal, not matter how in love you think you are because love is blind.

3. You have a crush on someone, in your host country.
Sure. Go ahead. Get that sexy person. xP :D
However, what will happen when you go back home?
Are you still together or is it a spur of the moment thing?
Is the balance of feeling towards each other okay?
You certainly don't want to break someones heart when you casually break it off before you leave.
Is s/he playing with you because your the foreign kid and they gain popularity?

~(Did you know: if you are a foreigner male,you lucky bastard, you get all the ladeezz in Japan no matter how you look! If you are a chick, the guys are probably scared of you and are too shy. Yeah, kinda sucks but hey, maybe you'll get lucky). Definately, don't get it on with any of your host family members cuz you might get a yummy mummy or sugar daddy! XD I just disturbed myself.

These are only some of the situations. and I'm sure there is more.
Just don't get preggers and always use protection.
Hee-Hee...but seriously.
Plus, don't trust yourself with a gun even if your host father's fav hobby is hunting.
I know stories, but I won't ramble.
Maybe some other time.

Personally, I'll try my best to steer away from romance.
I want to as much of Japan as I can.
It's not like I don't like boys and romance, but it's doesn't top my priority.
Well, I'll try because force of love>force of gravity.
I hope you are enjoying these blogs and they'll come handy.

Bye :3,

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Summer Holidays and Relative Friend issues

Now it's the summer and school's over for the year.
But, Australian 'bi-polar' weather...I cringe.
It's either sizzling hot or depressingly raining.

Well, I was going to make little cube crafts but the printer isn't working and I look too tired to go out and do anything. I got invited to a Christmas party for this afternoon but I haven't reply and I don't really know the people there because they are in the year below me. I made friends with some of them because of the possibility of repeating a school year and I know their siblings and blah, blah, blah. I want to go but 4pm-11.30pm? I'm a panda, I need my sleep~

I'm alone at home with my brother and we are both bored as hell.
Both just chilling, on the computer and hungry but not bothered to get up to make anything.
My mother called up to tell me to send a resume to the AFS office for volunteer work in the office.
I have so many excuses but argh, she will probably chop me up.

Just in case you don't care about my home life.

Call me impatient but I leave on the 25th of March.
So far away...Many people I know has left during December or leaving in January and I miss them.The AFS camps last from 6pm on a Friday to 2pm on a Sunday, but I made so many friends.I liked sitting around the camp fire and just talking about random things without any awkward silences and I wish it was longer. Sometimes I try to talk to some of them, but something isn't right. Hopefully, The next camp I go to everyone will be there and there is no problems. However, it's probably going to be in 2012.

I'm in Japan between that time so I hope i can make many close friends on my program.
It has been said, by my last camp leaders, that you will very likely lose some friends at school when you get back but I'm not particularly close to anyone and I will know who cares about me so I guess that's fine. Your friends at school will welcome you back but they haven't experienced what you have gone through and sooner or later, they will get bored/jealous of your stories. Apparently.
I don't really know since I'm still in Australia.
It seems kind of off putting but it's for the best and that is nothing compared to your exchange.
I'm just keeping it real!

It's a once in a lifetime experience and it makes up for everything.
It has it's equal amount of good and bad situations but that's is what makes you grow and learn.
If you expect happiness throughout the exchange, you are probably ill prepared and think it's like a holiday or an escape from your parents. In some ways, yes, but your organisation and host family replace your parents and they are probably equal/more protective. However, if you deal with no problems throughout the exchange, you are one lucky bitch.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Host Family Help

Hey guys,

I have done a new video yesterday to inform viewers about this blog.

My aim for the channel is to accompany this blog because I will be able to show you more videos, pictures and stories that can't be explained by writing and then on this blog, I'll be able to get into a lot more detail.
Or at least something like that.

My Youtube channel is 'eatingualive'.
I would also like to mention my friend, fallblu has a channel for his student exchange trip to the U-S-of-America, so when he arrives in USA during January, you can expect some videos.
I got to delete some videos.
Just plain plain shameful.

Just some quick advice, to know how to be a good towards your host family, it's good to see things through their eyes. You can just imagine it or the better option, welcome a foreign student into your home. Spot what to do and what not to do when you got abroad.

1. You go to know that a host family's home is NOT a hotel.They sacrifice a lot to let you in and they do it unpaid and with the goodness of their hearts. They least you can do is to help out around the house. Do more than what you are asked of. I know that in Japan, they spoil the children and kids are supposed to study non-stop. However, as an exchange student, there is not much you can study on since everything is in Japanese so why not bond with the family via doing some chores.
An example of what not to do:Your host family says dinner starts at 6. Don't come back exactly on time to immediately start dinner. During my time of being a host sister, I knew exactly ticked off my mum at times.
It's best to come back a little earlier to help out.

2.Don't complain and try your very best to adapt.The point of going abroad is to become a better person and experience a different culture. Try to change yourself to go along with their lives, instead of modifying them to suit you. Host family member do have lives and you have deal with their ups and downs. Japanese people tend to try and keep their emotions and opinions aside, so it'll be good to have a little common sense and an eye open. If there is something you don't particularly like, try it 3-4 times before voicing your opinions.

3. Put a little bit more effort in bonding with your host family.Instead of travelling across your country and seeing the big cities or going out with your friends 24/7, stay with your host family on special occasions and go with them to family outings. You can go back to whichever country you choose over and over again, but, you can't relive those times when you lived in a home of family memories.
I don't mean that don't travel anywhere at all but keep things in balance.

4. If they are a little dodgy :/
If you truly believe that your host family are treating you like crap and It is unbearable, sit down to have a civilized talk with them (without offending them). If all else fails, contact your organisation or speak with a trusted adult. By giving you dishwashing duties is NOT being mean. You are meant to be treated as a family member, not an honoured guest. However, if they are making you feel in danger, rights ignored or/and excessively uncomfortable, talk to someone.
On the other hand, you could be over-reacting. Go out, take a breather, give it a think.

5. Treating you as a guest and being too 'nice'
You may be enjoying the fact that there let you have the first ............, or give you special treatment. They might be just being polite or what not however, in some cases, you might be missing out on the family part of it all. Staying in a hotel, you can do anytime of your life, but immersing yourself in the family aspects is important. It's one of the main points of the student exchange. If you don't want to offend them, show appreciation, say a few compliments and insist on helping around and doing a couple chores. Don't wait to be asked to help.

My advice is what I have experienced as a host sister and from what I learnt from AFS camp leaders and returnees of past trips.

I have to create a new background...:/
I just made the current one, in a lazy mood, and just blurred and rainbow-fy it.
Don't worry, I'll make a more awesome one soon. Maybe with a dinosaur in it. :D

Thanks for reading :),

Sunday, December 12, 2010

All that Jazz.

Now, currently 12:07 in the early morn and the 13th of December, 2010.
I'm writing for my first.
I am up still because I was fixing the design to appeal to your eyes and just doing stuff.

I, Tiffany, was selected to received the scholarship for JENSEYS year program by student exchange organization, AFS. I'll be just blogging about my days post-Japan for now since my departure date is the 25th of March, 2011.
That's 101 days away and I'm really super-duper excited~~

Due to today's predicted fatigue, I shall return my head to my pillow and slumber for now. I got to wake up today at 6.30 (approx.) to go to an presentation day/ award ceremony in which I receive an award for intermediate maths. What a bore but whatevers.
I'm not looking forward for the pins and needles.


Tiffany Lao

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