And I've talked to the one kid I know in the program. He's had good times, but some pretty sucky ones as well. Overall, he hasn't turned me on to the experience.
The thought of missing my sister go to college, my second anniversary, all my friends' birthdays, Christmas, and little communication with my friends due to the time difference for a whole YEAR, well, it makes me very very unhappy.
Kobayashi-sensei recommended this program, but I'm the one who'd have to live it. I just...well, I don't want to do it alone. Not for that much time. Less stress is always good, and I think a whole year would only stress me out more. Originally, I wanted to do a year...but my life is moving in different directions all the time, and to ignore that change and stick with an outdated course will only bring me trouble, I feel.
So, after having it weigh on my significantly over the past few days, I've decided to change my mind. A spring semester (still a good amount of time, just not QUITE as long) or maybe a summer program is more suited to me. If I go in the spring, I feel I'd miss a lot less, and still have another semester with Kobayashi-sensei to build my skills up. I looked at the deadlines for other programs, and I still have plenty of time to apply, scholarships included.
Change is good. Just sometimes, it needs to be done one step at a time.