2. Language barrier
Not a day goes by in school that we don't chitchat with our friends. However, for Yumi, it does not go the same especially in a place where the native language is different and even English can't be used that much. It's an everyday struggle to communicate. Just imagine how what it's like during her first day in school? The good thing that comes from it though is the motivation for her to study Japanese vocabulary harder. "I get so frustrated kapag 'di ko naeexpress 'yung gusto kong sabihin. But that's what motivates me to study more. In a country where English can't be used that much, siyempre kailangan ako ang mag-adjust."
3. Cultural differences
Something will always set us apart from other people in terms of values, beliefs, and perspectives. It happens most often with people of different nationalities. Citing an example, Yumi said as compared to Filipinos' sense of humor and type of jokes, natives there won't ever get sarcasm. It leads her to realize that the only way to cope with the culture shock is to be open-minded. "In that way, you won't just realize but learn that there are actually people whose way of living can be totally different from yours. And you also learn how to live with them."
It's nearly impossible to see girls and boys interact inside the campus according to Yumi. Gender bias exists, and it's usually men who are superior. Catch opposite sexes together, and people will already think that you have something going on. But with as a Filipino, Yumi knows her way to survive. "First of all, don't doubt yourself and accept your identity," she said. "It's important that I stand up for myseldf para hindi ako maliitin just because iba ang lahi ko at pinalaki ako sa Pinas 'lang.' But at the same time, sttill be considerate of your surroundings. Be proud sa pagiging Filipino, but never look down on anyone."
There is nothing quite like the huge opportunity that studying abroad can give a person, but diving into that completely new life can be the most challenging sacrifice. Yumi and her Japan journey can stand proof to that. It might took her time to adapt but here she is, surviving like the strong Filipina that she is. You go, girl!