A Newspaper Internship in Japan Past Review

By (OBHR, Brigham Young University) - abroad from 05/07/2013 to 08/07/2013 with

Brigham Young University: Japan International Internships

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I expected to learn a lot about the culture, which I'm sure I did. But I feel like I learned a lot more about myself--my personal expectations, what I value, etc.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I felt like the assignments were manageable, and just required me to sit down every once in a while and dedicate a good chunk of time to them.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Well, I had only email contact with my professor, which was fine for the most part. But he could be slow to respond at times, and it made completing my homework in a timely manner a big worry. (If you don't get it how can you work on it etc)

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Living with a host family can be a bit nerve-wracking, but I was lucky and had a WONDERFUL experience.

* Food:

Very tasty, make sure you can stand to eat sea food of course!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

There were times where I was very aware of there being a difference of cultural expectations, but I felt included most all the time.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Didn't actually have any issues while on my internship that required medical attention. However, there was some worry about vaccines. We were told to go with the guidelines of the CDC(?) website. But for Japan, they have a suggestion for what turned out to be a SUPER expensive vaccine ($200/shot, 2 series shot). I thought I had to get this! Luckily the doctor mentioned that even missionaries going to Japan don't get it, so I ended up not getting it, but the lack of knowledge about the vaccines on BYU's end (professor, TA included) was not helpful.

* Safety:

I felt very safe. I would ride around the city on my bike fairly freely, to and from work, no problem whatsoever. Didn't ever try to ride at night though, so no comments for then.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Well, I was paid a certain amount, I handed over a portion of that to my host family, and they used it to feed, house me etc. That was about $500/month if that helps?

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? No idea--I didn't do the buying.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? No


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

My entire internship was to work at a Japanese company, and write articles in Japanese. I don't think I talked more than a couple words of English that entire first month, and for most of the remaining two months I hardly used it at all except for giving a speech, helping with the occasional English lesson etc.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Japanese 321
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Some will say 50 words, some will say 10, I would suggest that if that seems daunting, find at least ONE new word a day, and use it a couple of times in your conversations throughout the day. Write new words down in a notebook, too look up the meaning later, or just for when you have a down moment and could be studying.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Other
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The constant use of my target language
  • Living with a host family
  • The many opportunities to experience the culture
* What could be improved?
  • Classwise, the distribution of homework in a timely manner for completion
  • na
  • na
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Can't think of anything now.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'