Monday, 23 December 2013


What is this?

My name is Brennan Galpin

That's me, a bit over a year ago
 I'm currently 17 years old and am preparing for an opportunity of a lifetime. On the 21st of January, 2014, I will be traveling to Japan on a Rotary Youth Exchange until January, 2015; a full year away! I will be going to school in a town called Gero-shi, in the province of Gifu. I will be attending a co-ed school called Mashita Seifu High School, where I will (try) to learn Japanese.

 When I was 6 years old, I started karate as a sport. Back then, I wasn't too fussed over the fact that it was a Japanese martial art, it was just a sport to me. However, in 2011, a sister city school exchange was advertised through school (I attended Timaru Boys' High)  and this was with Timaru's relative in Japan: Eniwa. I thought I might as well give it a go, there's no harm in trying, right? So I gave the application to Mum and Dad and to my surprise, they said the same thing! Might as well give it a go. After an essay or two and an interview, I got a phone call telling me that I was going to be spending three weeks in Eniwa. I was ecstatic but I had no idea of what I was about to embark on.
 School was tough for me in 2012 but it was definitely a good oner. Fast-forwarding half a year, it was time for me to fly to Japan. In late June we left, and as soon as I landed I fell in love. I was excited before leaving, but I had not even comprehended the magnitude of what I would find. I found a passion; I had been trying to learn a wee bit of Japanese before I left and I thought I was pretty good. Wrong. It turns out I could only read and write a little bit and I couldn't even understand what it was that I was reading! And then there was speech. What a mission that was, I could barely say anything to anyone but when I did, I felt an awesome sense of achievement. I found that communicating in another language was the best of the exchange for me and ever since then, I have endeavored to become as proficient as possible in Japanese.
 Obviously the exchange had to end and I knew without a doubt that I had to get back to Japan somehow. So I sought out another exchange. After searching, applying, interviewing and many speeches, I find myself a few sleeps away from my dream becoming a reality. This year I have studied the language a lot harder and I reckon that I can survive well enough on my own, but I guess we'll see if that's the case or not.

 In a nutshell: I'm a 17 year old who is going to spend a year in Japan because I am obsessed with Japanese.

This Blog

 I will be updating this blog as I go about my adventure next year in the hope that I can share some of my experiences with all of you. So if you've made it this far, thanks for reading and I hope that you can enjoy reading my take on Japan as much as I enjoy living it.


  1. Brennan, so glad to hear about you're upcoming adventure I have some sage wisdom to prepare you for you're journey that will test you're limits and compel you to seek outside you're comfort zone
    Inspiration is a stimulating feeling that we seek to motivate us, to continue pressing forward through hardships and to find meaning amidst chaos. What inspires us is sometimes found in the rarest of forms. It is sometimes in plain sight. It is often stumbled upon without intention, and it is sometimes graciously handed to us in the form of wise words, spoken by experienced and influential minds.

    For those who are feeling aimlessly lost in the journey to find themselves, those who are feeling stuck under the darkest clouds waiting for a ray of sunshine and those who simply need a dose of encouragement, heed these words of wisdom.
    Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum
    Anything is possible, and that’s something we should not lose sight of. The inspiration and the permission to dream is huge.

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  3. Hey my name is Ashleigh McRobie and in June i'm going on the same exchange trip to Eniwa I think you did last year, how did you find the experience?