As of this writing, Arian Yupangco has probably just finished another one of her intensive classes at the Bunka Institute of Language. The self-confessed beauty girl has been in Japan since earlier this year, having left her job as a writer for the Fashion & Beauty section in The Philippine Star and as an educational therapist at EdLink Foundation where she worked with kids who had learning disabilities to pursue her passion: makeup! On the cusp of her newest adventure, she shares six things about her amazing experience so far.

1. Just like my parents, I’ve been interested in Japanese culture for a long time already.
As a result, we would frequent the country quite often, and some years ago on a trip to Tokyo we visited Bunka Fashion College located in Shinjuku. Since my sister has always been into fashion, it was a natural stop in our itinerary. When she decided last year that she wanted to study there, we did some research and found out about the Bunka Institute of Language, located on the same campus. It was around this time that I also made up my mind to finally go pro, if you will, with my passion: beauty. Specifically, makeup. Since most specialized schools in Japan require a certain level of language ability, my sister and I enrolled in the institute together. We didn’t really need to prepare for it per say, but we both did take classes for a while at the Nihongo Center Foundation in Makati so that we’d already have some Japanese under our belt.

2. Remember those ridiculously bright and colorful makeup palettes for little girls? I had a ton of them!
I always loved playing dress-up as a kid, and that didn’t just include me wearing different costumes, but also dolling myself up. My passion for makeup started very early, and from there it only grew stronger. I find I’m able to express myself best when it comes to makeup, and to me there’s this sense of incomparable joy when I’m able to share that passion with others. I decided to pursue further education simply because I wanted to eventually turn my passion into a full-time career.

3. I’m currently living in an all-female, student dorm in Hatsudai, located in Shinjuku.
My school is only a 20 minute walk away, and classes are Monday to Friday from 9:10 3:00 p.m. Since our schedule and workload is already quite intense, I didn’t opt to get a part-time job just yet. If I do in the future though, perhaps after six months, I’d like to get one at a beauty salon.

4. No matter what country you've visited or stayed in, life in Japan will always be on an entirely unique and interesting level.
One aspect of Japanese life I'm still amazed by is the overall discipline the locals have, not just at work or in school, but also in everyday life. Here, one can leave something as valuable as a shiny, new smartphone in a public space, like a restaurant table, and no one will so much as glance at it. Also, if any trains run just five or more minutes late, staff from the railway company will actually hand out "delay certificates" to passengers which will prove that the train was delayed so that your tardiness can be excused when you arrive at the office or in class!

5. I miss my family and friends the most.
Family time is very important in our house, and I also like to meet up with my good friends whenever possible, so trying to adjust to not seeing any of them as often as I used to is still a bit of a struggle for me. I also miss my two dogs, Prada and Egypt!

6. I find that the biggest challenge of being abroad on a long-term basis is trying to maintain a balance between all the aspects of living in another country.
You have to exert effort and find time to fulfill all your responsibilities, like work or your studies, while also making sure to not overextend yourself. Once you achieve that balance though, I believe your experience won't only be enjoyable, but also fulfilling!

Follow the rest of her adventures on Instagram!

PHOTOS: Arian Yupangco

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