Gburg Abroad, Part 2: Junior Jonathan Barley-Alexander's passion for Japan

More than half of Gettysburg students spend at least one semester studying off-campus. In 2013, the Institute of International Education recognized this commitment to engaged learning when it ranked the College 5th in the nation among baccalaureate institutions for mid-length (one semester) duration study abroad. Over the past 10 years, Gettysburg has been ranked within the top 20 institutions in this same category.

Last year, 346 Gettysburg students studied abroad in 33 countries—including the Czech Republic, Hungary, Morocco, the Netherlands, Argentina, Ghana, and Greece. In this five-part series, five students share their off-campus studies stories, and how these experiences have helped to alter their perceptions and reshape their goals as they plan for their lives on campus and beyond.

Jonathan Barley-Alexander ’16 
Japanese Studies major, Political Science minor
Temple University – Japan Campus: Tokyo, Japan

The cultural experience in Japan was amazing. I learned so many things and experienced things I would not have if I had stayed in America, and I became more adept in hearing and understanding Japanese language. I also made many lifelong friends with whom I now I talk to on a daily basis.

On being a Japanese studies major:
Growing up watching anime and seeing Japanese culture and language undoubtedly stimulated my interest. I’d think to myself, “I wish I could watch this without subtitles and understand everything.” In high school, I took a class that helped me realize that each country depends on another, and became interested in Japan as a country and in its relations with America.

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