Interesting Learning Experience Past Review

By (Brandeis University) - abroad from 03/28/2018 to 07/27/2018 with

CIEE: Tokyo - Arts and Sciences

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned how to be more independent. Also, it allowed me to experience how it feels to live in a busy city. Therefore, I would say my experience abroad was worthwhile.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

As expected, the Japanese language course was intense, even though I did not take the intensive level. My business courses were less intense than I thought they would be.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

CIEE had meetings and check-ins to make sure we knew what to do.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I wish we could choose housing that was closer to the university. Also, the dorm manager did not offer much help, so many of us had to figure out how to do things on our own.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Since I look Asian, it was easy for me to blend in. I would say I got used to everyday customs, but there were many festivities and events I was not familiar with. Also, I talked with quite a few local students, but I would have to be the one to reach out if I wanted to continue meeting up with them since they were relatively shy.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I tried to see a counselor while I was abroad and contacted my program about this request. However, I was not able to actually see one, partially due to the demand of the counselor and conflicts in schedule. I did not personally see a doctor when I was abroad, but I had a friend who had to wait 2 hours in the waiting room despite having made an appointment with the doctor. From both incidents, I would say that the supply of healthcare did not match the demand, causing a shortage.

* Safety:

I've had some sketchy experiences with men in Tokyo. For example, a middle-aged man tried to get me to follow him to an alleyway when I was shopping alone in broad daylight. Also, for those who want to participate in night life, be wary of sober guys loitering on the street to pick up drunk girls and take them home.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

Although Tokyo is a great place to be, it's not a good place to study, at least for me. It was too busy and the housing we had was far from the school.


* 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)

Since Tokyo is a big city, it can be relatively expensive in terms of transportation and shopping. For example, clothing is very pricey.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $250
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Keeping track of how much your money you spend is probably the best way to save money.


* 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

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
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? JAPN105a
How many hours per day did you use the language?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
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?
  • Food
  • Group trips
  • Setting/Location
* What could be improved?
  • Classes
  • Housing
  • Healthcare
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew that I am my own person and I have the ability to be independent and decide own my life.

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.'