From Albania to Zimbabwe: My Very First Halloweekend

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Hi there! My name is Akira Camargo, a freshman hailing from Tokyo, Japan who will try to crack funny jokes and puns from time to time as I write posts for From Albania to Zimbabwe, the ins and outs of being at Brown from an international student’s perspective. Through my posts, you’ll be able to learn more about all things international here, ranging from international events at Brown (cool guest speakers, festivals and parties) to my thoughts on living in America for the first time (!!!), and a bunch of other interesting stuff as my first year at Brown unfolds. Hope you enjoy reading them!

Happy November! I hope all of you had a great one. For those of you applying to colleges, the Early Decision deadline just passed…! I congratulate those of you who submitted your first college application! That’s a commendable honor. I remember exactly a year ago, I was in my high school library looking over my Brown application and hitting submit while my friend Sumika (who also got admitted to Brown and is in the above photo on the left) did a last-minute run through of my essays. It’s really weird to think how much my life has changed in just a year. Spooky…

Speaking of spooky, Halloweekend is just making its final run at Brown. I dressed up with all of my friends, had a lot of fun at some awesome Halloween-themed parties and I am now procrastinating from all the work I didn’t do this week. 

Anyway, this was my first Halloween in America and in college, and I must say, WOW. I was overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and passion everyone had with regards to what costume they wanted to wear, what parties to go to and much much more. Back at home, we really didn’t do much for Halloween except for Trick-or-Treating when I was younger, so it was a big change to do a whole set of different things. It was an overwhelming couple of days but I sure did have a lot of fun.

On Friday, I dressed up with my friend as superheroes and went to a party that was hosted by our college neighbor next door, RISD. I met a bunch of cool people and even made a new Japanese friend! The international world is small, and you are bound to find people who you share mutual friends with. Take advantage of your international background!

On Saturday, the Japan Cultural Association had its annual Haunted House, which was tiring and exicting all at the same time. We created our own haunted house, in a series of small classrooms in a basement of an old buildling at Brown. Scary right? It was a great success and I had a lot of fun scaring people (I didn’t think that would be fun, but hey, it really was!).

As an international student, you will definitely experience a lot of ‘firsts’, just like Halloween. Don’t forget to be open-minded and try new things. That being said, no one really pressures you, and it’s also cool to stick to what you’re used to as well.
Stay warm, folks. It just started snowing here and I am freaking out! Winter is coming!


If you have any more questions, comments, suggestions of what I should write about or just want to chat, feel free to message me at 


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