Like a lot of the foreign students at Kansai Gaidai, I've met a lot of Japanese students in the CIE lounge ever since I first came to the campus. The problem is that because we keep meeting so many people, it's hard to have conversations with other people besides short, simple small talk unless you can find a common interest. That being said, I have made a lot of Japanese friends with similar interests as me who I've had the chance to meet up with outside of Kansai Gaidai, one of those people being my friend Asuka.
I first met Asuka when she and her friend, Ayaka, started up a conversation with me and my friends from my home university, Gettysburg College. When we said we went to school in Pennsylvania, they didn't seem to know a whole lot about the area, but when we mentioned that we went to Gettysburg College, it turned out that they both were friends with a guy named Gus, who had graduated from Gettysburg College this past spring. Not only did we know him, but one of my friends and I had recently been in the same Japanese history class as him! It was such a coincidence that we all happened to know someone from my home university, even though we had met at different times and in different places. Having this in common really helped to bring us together--to think, if we hadn't mentioned our university then, we might not have ever realized this!
Asuka is a third-year student at Kansai Gaidai, and she studied abroad at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada, so her English is already really good--we can all gossip and have girl talk together without much of a language barrier! Asuka is always smiling and laughing and can always lift our moods when we talk with her after our classes.
Since we first met, Asuka, my friends, and I have hung out around campus and have had lunch together several times, but we've also met outside of Kansai Gaidai as well. For instance, last Friday we all went to Hirakata Station for dinner and karaoke to celebrate the fact that it was finally Friday. (Asuka is also amazing at karaoke!! She put us all to shame with her amazing voice!)
Even though I've met a lot of people since I came to Kansai Gaidai, Asuka is one person who I've really had a chance to get to know better, and I hope we will be able to get to know each other even more during my time abroad here.