Three to four years ago I gradually developed an interest in Japanese culture. Two and a half years ago I started learning Japanese. One year ago I got in touch with the University of Freiburg regarding the possibility of studying abroad in Japan. Now, after two semesters in Freiburg, I'm about to start a year at 松山大学 as an exchange student.
I've never lived or studied outside of Baden-Württemberg, so I'm really excited about how such an amount of change will affect me. I'm also super hyped that I will finally be able to invest pretty much ALL MY TIME into improving my language skills. So far I always had to fit language learning somewhere inbetween while my bachelor's or master's degree were the quasi obligatory main thing.
Preparations are as good as done. Journey starts Sep 8th. Updates will be tagged #MYJ15. :)
Final spurt? Not really. Apart from the last two weeks — where I actively searched for new kanji to get from 1880 to 1900 — considerations of previous checkpoint were put into practice. I got most of my newly acquired vocab from ドラマ, manga and interaction with Japanese people.
If I kept my current kanji pace I'd reach full Jōyō somewhere in the second quarter of next year. :D We'll see ... kanji isn't the main focus of active progression anymore.
Less than 45 days was doable. :)
I'm considering to stop seaching for new kanji/vocab each day and repurpose that time for focussed reading practice, collecting new kanji/vocab on the way. This would, I expect, slow down my kanji progress significantly. But I feel that I've reached a point where the hassle of blindly seaching for new words to learn, solely for the purpose of getting those damn 常用漢字 done isn't really worth it anymore.
When reading Japanese it isn't the kanji that hold me back, it's grammar, phrases, compounds, etc. I presume simply reading a lot while looking up the stuff I don't understand will benefit my reading comprehension way better than continuing what I've done up until now. Everything new I come across this way will have the huge benefit of being learned with a context — which is kind of taking my 'learn kanji in the context of words' approach one step further: 'learn vocab and grammar in the context of continuous text'.