Sophomore Willa Grinsfelder heads to Japan


Gita Raman (illustration)

Sophomore Willa Grinsfelder departed for Japan on Mar. 18.

After spending her first summer at Concordia Village Language camps, sophomore Willa Grinsfelder decided she wanted to go to Japan. “Tons of the counselors [at camp] had studied abroad, and it sounded like an amazing opportunity to learn more about a culture and language that I love,” she said.

Grinsfelder will partake in an exchange to Japan on Mar. 18 and will return during the middle of February in 2015. “I want to go to Japan because I’m fascinated by the vastly different culture. I have the opportunity to travel and live with people who have different social and cultural ideas. I’ve always been interested in the international community, and traveling to Japan is a way for me to learn more,” she said.

In preparation for Grinsfelder’s journey across the ocean she has been preparing for speaking in Japanese: “I’ve been studying it on my own for the past three years.”

While in Japan, Grinsfelder will complete the rest of her sophomore year and most of her junior year abroad. She will live with a host family there.

“I hope that it shapes me as a person so that I can understand more types of people, and be more culturally tolerant,” Grinsfelder said. “I also hope that I can create lasting relationships with new people that I meet.”

To find out more about sophomore Willa Grinsfelder’s journey, check out her blog.