My study abroad experience has made me more open to alternative paths to the type of career I wish to pursue. For starters, learning Japanese definitely makes my original dream of making comics for a Japanese company more possible. The best way to do this may be to teach English in Japan for a while before finding a way to get into this field. However, I do not think this is the right choice for me, because despite enjoying my time here in Japan, I could not live so far away from my friends and family for such a long time. If I only came here on business trips every so often, that would be doable and a better fit for me.
This realization broadened my scope of options, as I determined that what I want to accomplish primarily is to move and connect people through my stories. Therefore, I am considering looking into the american comics industry. I would even be happy if I were able to become a novelist, perhaps just designing the covers to my novels. Although, there is one Japanese comic company which I recently found out has been employing people from all around the world, which is exciting and could be a way to work in the Japanese comics field without leaving home indefinitely. They have an application where people like me can create comics and read them, which could be a good start to getting my work out there and perhaps one day noticed by a comics company.
While making my career goals more flexible, this experience has also inspired me to shoot for my dreams with a new fire in my eyes. I will keep writing and drawing, developing my work each day so that one day I can fulfill my dream. Being here has made me more determined to work on my web comic, since it will be a great way to reach people and practice the process of making comics, so that in time it becomes almost second nature.
I have made some connections with other students which I hope I can keep in touch with after I return home. Learning about various other cultures, including of course Japanese culture, and finding out more about how people from different backgrounds view situations is a wonderful opportunity. I hope we can inspire and learn from each other, even when we are millions of miles away.