And how are things in Kanazawa?

In the spring, I moved to a traditional city on the other side of the world: Kanazawa in Japan. I am taking a semester at Kanazawa University. I soon discovered how beautiful its historic city was.

photo Rik Raes

Konnichiwa! As a Data Science & Artificial Intelligence (AI) student, Japan is a great destination not only for its traditional culture, but also because of its culture regarding AI. This is partly why I decided to move to Kanazawa in Japan for a semester at Kanazawa University, which turned out to be a great choice. The international and Japanese people are all very welcoming and open, which also ensures that you soon make friends. Over the past few weeks, I have already greatly enjoyed the karaoke and izakaya nights with my friends and professors, amongst other activities and trips. For example, together with my Taiwanese roommate, Wei I Hao, I also walked the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route (see main photo, ed.).

I began my journey by traveling through Japan with my friend, Melissa. Together we went past many major cities such as Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, and ended our trip at the Formula One race in Suzuka. In the middle of Sakura season, we traveled the country and enjoyed the incredibly beautiful nature and culture this country has to offer, in addition to the delicious food!

Rustic, historic, and beautiful, three words that accurately describe the city of Kanazawa. It is a traditional city with classic architecture and beautiful nature. The city runs from the sea to the mountains, where the university is located at the foot of the mountains. This makes it fairly remote from the inner city which makes for a beautiful and calm environment. The university is very large and spread out but easily accessible by bus and walking or biking will get you to your classes easily.

The buildings at the university are a bit older than in Eindhoven, including the student housing on campus, but still fairly new to Japan. I am taking Japanese language and culture classes, such as karate, as well as some data science courses. This still leaves me plenty of time to explore the country which I also enjoy doing and will definitely be doing more of. The Kanazawa University Exchange Program is highly recommended for the nature lover who would like to have a unique academic and cultural experience.

This adventure is already fantastic while it has only just begun. Of course I miss my family and friends, but that's just part of the deal. This unique experience I will carry with me all my life!

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