Kansai Gaidai’s 2nd In-Person Semester Since Pre-COVID

Kansai Gaidai welcomed a near record number of students into its in-person exchange program, second only to the preceding semester. 508 international students from 29 different countries and regions made their way onto campus for what is sure to be a memorable spring semester.

As orientation came to a close and classes started, the campus is already buzzing with life and excitement as a new group joins the extension students in the second on campus semester since Japan has opened its borders. Some are already venturing out to the local eateries, the most popular stores, and even making day trips into Kyoto and Osaka before settling into their academic schedule. 

Many students had to wait multiple semesters or even years for this chance to come study in Japan. “I feel like I've been waiting all my life for this,” said new student Eugneya-mae Gunn-Bailey when asked about finally being able to study abroad in Japan. She, like many other students, waited two years for this incredible opportunity. Despite the wait feeling “extremely long . . . I`m happy to be doing this while I can,” she reported. 

This semester is distinctly different from the previous in that returning students are now able to help the new arrivals settle in and recreate the international chain of information and support that had been broken from the pandemic.

“It has a very different feel from last semester,” said extension student Marie Kiess. She talked about how much more relaxed and communal the campus has become with the returning students helping the new students figure out their new life abroad. “We can explore everything again with people who will find new things. We can all make the best semester together,” she stated. 

As the semester gets into full swing it is sure to be a memorable one that will create memories to last a lifetime and a legacy to be passed down to each new semester.