Irene's gone mobile!

Posted by irene , 5.31.2010 6:21 AM

In preparation for the possibility that I won't be bringing a computer/have handy wifi all the time, I have downloaded a blogging app on my itouch :D
Unfortunately, this app is limited to text only posts, but now that I think about it, I wouldn't be able to connect my camera to my itouch anyway... Brain fart.

On a more prominent note, I'm going out to get presents today :D I still haven't received my host family yet, but all in good time, I suppose.

Btw... Hamlet is awesome. He is so cool. /sigh

Okay! I will go organize more stuff now :)
Expect meatier, juicier posts this week! (can you tell that I'm hungry? XD)

Pre-Departure Orientation!

Posted by irene , 5.23.2010 12:38 PM

(another post coming soon... once I finish writing it. and pictures! I'll edit this post to include them later. :D enjoy!)

I had my orientation yesterday! This was a regional orientation for future exchangers in the area, so it wasn't limited to country :) I thought it was cool, seeing the differences between European and Asian behaviors (generalizations, of course). Most of the exchangers were going to Germany for a year (especially on the Congress-Bundeschag scholarship; If you're considering going to Germany, make sure to look intothat on YFU's scholarship page :D links on the right -->), but there were five of us--me, Grace, Ben, Stefan, and Abby-- heading to JP for a summer, and one runner-up (Hi Katherine!).

I met the other two JBSD scholarship winners, Grace and Ben :D who are from the same school! It's kind of funny how that worked out. It was nice knowing that I'd be seeing them again in two weeks! (more about this later*)

Yaaaay, JBSD kids! :D

Twas an exciting, yet tiring (as most exciting things tend to be) day, filled with discussions about personal space, culture, family, and roleplays of foreign creepers! (yay!) The presenters also cleared up a lot of confusion about the communication structure of YFU and what to pack (though I still have to decide about many of the things I want to bring).
There was also an alumni panel of current and previous foreign exchangers, which responded to our questions, trivial or not :D

All of us hadn't gotten anything from our host families yet, but hopefully that will change soon.

In two weeks, I'm going to a luncheon with the other JBSD scholarship winners, REACH (college exchange program) winners, and the higher-ups of JBSD itself! o___o
I asked one of the orientation presenters about the luncheon, and she said that the president of YFU is most likely flying in from DC to attend!


Nervous now O___O I think we each have to give a 1-2 minute speech, preferably with some Japanese... self-studying mode activate!
(doesn't help that it's the day before my SAT IIs... blech!)


Just on a sidenote:
going to the orientation reminded me of how much I need to step up on studying .___.
I'm at a disadvantage, not being able to study JP in school every day. Found some good resources (, Tae Kim's guide.... I'll write these out in a separate post) but just finding stuff won't cut it-- I have to WORK!
Go go! >:D

*sings the Mulan song to herself*

organization is awesome! (more planning)

Posted by irene , 5.19.2010 4:05 PM

too happy, maybe?

(in this post: post-APs sentence long celebration, to do list, and upcoming dates!)

aaaaand.... that's a wrap!
AP tests are over (actually they were over last week... w/e) and I now have time to think seriously about exchange stuff :D

So. Things. To do! (and have done, for some...)
  1. Get a Dictionary. Fortunately I have done this already :D I got the pocket webster dictionary (which can be accessed from if you're interested at all) and am highlighting and doing other fun things in it.
  2. Get a phrasebook. I didn't think that I would need one, but looking at how much I know thus far, it's definitely gonna be a good idea... heh. still have to go to Borders to scope them out.
  3. Host family gifts! this one's tough... I think I'm going to make a photo/scrap-book about life in America, get some UMich stuff, Michigan-related great lakes stuff, lanyards.... practical stuff :D
  4. Other gifts! Little stuff... candy, photos.... magnets? o__o
  5. Packing... bleegle bleegle. I have to get clothes... shorts... summer clothes besides T-shirts xD
That's all the important stuff for now.

Oh! I should probably show off my YFU goodies. My shirt is currently in the wash so I'll do that in a separate post.
(it's XL.... bound to be interesting hehehehehehehe...)

And one last thing... I have my Orientation this weekend :DDD I'm excited. I don't know if it's only Japan-bound students (probably not, as I have seen from the feedback on our Facebook forum) but I am sure it will be awesome either way.
JBSD luncheon next week. whoot whooo!

until next time :D

Packet and Visa info is a go! +other things

Posted by irene , 5.13.2010 3:15 PM

Sniffle sniffle. I think I might have a cold. It rained so much today, and I got totally soaked.
This post is going to be really discombobulated. I will try to bold things to make the topic clearer, but I am sorry :( I promise that future posts will be tidier.

I got visa info yesterday and other YFU info today :D
Just like you might have seen on Courtney or Kaytlin's blogs (among others, of course!) there were two handbooks and a HUUUUUGE T-shirt. XL! Whoo! I'll have to wash it repeatedly hehe. It's pretty much a dress for me XD Oh well, it's distinctive. It works! :D
I read through the handbook, and as I did so, the first strains of nervousness hit me. I don't want to set expectations too high, just like so many people have instructed, but it's hard not to be at least a little anxiously anticipating.
I think a problem for me will be getting enough sleep =___= no doubt I will be so excited all the time it will be hard o__o but I have to get rid of these massive eye-bags sometime! Hehe. Plus, I'll need all the energy I can get to learn and listen and talk!

Marked some things down on my calendar... only 30 days! THIRTY DAYS. that's like... NO TIME. AT ALL. MUST START PACKING! and stuff o___o
Also have an idea for host family gifts. I haven't gotten a placement yet (of course) but I figured I'd start with some... more general things. Photos and stuff. :D
Considering heading to the UMich store at the mall and picking up some little stuff. Because Michigan, is, y'know, awesome. MAIIIIZE AND BLUUUE YEEE

Last thing! I am going to Borders next week to get a Japanese/Eng dictionary and possibly a study book if there are any adequate ones. Any suggestions? I'll need them!

Okay, over and out!


Posted by irene , 5.09.2010 11:20 AM

Hmm. I still haven't gotten the official scholarship letter yet... kind of weird, since I got the email a week ago. I'm going to call YFU :)

SO. New post. Introduction. Take it as you will :D

Posted by irene , 5.04.2010 4:56 PM

Hello world!

(I'm totally copying wordpress defaults!)

Before I get on to the second part of my post, I guess I should introduce myself a little. It's like an icebreaker... but I'm the only one doing it! Weird!
My name is Irene. I'm a sophomore in high school, Taiwanese by descent.
I heard about Youth For Understanding's programs through one of my friends, who got a scholarship two years ago (Thanks Lexie!) ...
...and five essays, one interview, immeasurable minutes of waiting and encouragement later, I received an email from the Japan Business Society of Detroit last night.

I almost exploded into pure energy right then (good thing I didn't, I'm sure pure energy is pretty messy to clean up), which is probably a pretty accurate measure of my current level of excitement.

Not sure exactly when I'm departing yet, but I'll post when I get the formal invitation from JBSD.

...oh and AP tests. ohnoz!

Lastly, I'd like to thank everyone who's helped me get here-- Mrs. Brunsch, Mrs. Miller, all my friends who put up with my emailing them to proofread, my family... you really touch my heart. I'll do the best I can for all of you. Thank you!


Post for post's sake.

Posted by irene 2:57 PM

Pretty much the title :)