merryrogue said: I'm planing on going with my school's study abroad to japan, meaning I have 10 months to plan. what should I invest my time/money in?
Oh, man, I have no idea. How long will you be there? How good are you at Japanese? Will you be staying with a host family or in a hostel or something?
I know dick about Japan, so I can’t help with country-specific things, but in general if you’re gonna go spend some significant time immersed in a foreign country you have got to be as good as you possibly can be at speaking, understanding, reading, and writing the language. Everything else pretty much falls into place—once you are able to understand and make yourself understood, shit like “i need this prescription filled” or “where can i buy [item]” or “what’s the quickest way to [location] by public transit” becomes possible to deal with instead of terrifying and impossible.
I guess I’d learn as much as I could about the places I’d be going, in order to know what kind of clothes and accessories to bring, and about the culture in general to minimize the inevitable gauche-foreigner-mistake stuff.
Anyone who knows what they’re talking about want to help out?
All that is good stuff to know. YES. DO ALL THAT.
Now, materially speaking, what you should be bringing with you depends on a number of factors. I’m speaking pretty generally ‘cause I don’t know much about Japan, but I do know a little bit about extended travel overseas.
For things specific to you, I’m going to recommend my favorite semi-discontinued Google search services: Google search: blogs and Google search: discussions. Now plug in all the search terms that were totally failing you when you tried to search Google At Large. You may now research what people actually have to say when they’re talking about their own experiences spending several months in Japan.
Okay, now specifics for what to bring, buy, or know. This is almost entirely generic advice about long trips in non-English-speaking countries for Americans, but I tried to cover specific issues that are often hard to remember.