Freshman Summer Started in Tokyo

July 25, 2018
• by
Allyson Chiu

Prior to this trip, I had never been to Asia. When I learned about the Marshall LINC Program, I knew I wanted to visit Tokyo because I was intrigued by Japan’s recent economic growth.

Our class visited many companies such as Amway, Rakuten, and Cybozu. My favorite tour was Costco’s because we got to hear their strategies for branding and succeeding overseas. We also received a behind-the-scenes tour of how they freshly prepare the sushi and got to try some afterwards of course!

My LINC experience differs from the rest of the group’s because, unfortunately, I fell ill on the third day and was taken to the clinic twice. However, this gave me the opportunity to observe Japan’s hospitality and healthcare. Unsurprisingly, the doctors and nurses were extremely kind. Instead of having to sit in the waiting room, the nurse offered to let me rest on a bed. I will forever remember the nurse running out into the streets just to flag down a taxi for me after my appointment.

Another interesting observation I made is that while there are no trash cans in the streets, I didn’t see a single piece of litter on the ground. I asked our tour guide about this, who explained that it was because Japanese people understand their environmental responsibility and carry their trash home to throw away. I am amazed by how Tokyo can be such a populated city yet maintain a clean, systematic order.

My favorite group activity was sailing around the Tokyo Bay for our dinner cruise towards the end of our trip. We ate an authentic Japanese meal and heard each team’s final presentations reflecting on what they learned over the course of this week.

After my LINC trip concluded, I flew directly to Hong Kong to begin my summer internship at a real estate company. I interned at Hang Lung Properties after being selected as a USC Global Fellow. I’m grateful for all the abroad opportunities at USC that are available to students as early as their freshman year that made this amazing opportunity possible for me.

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