I studied abroad in Japan but at the same time I didn't! Past Review

By (University of the Pacific) - abroad from 03/27/2019 to 08/03/2019 with

CIEE: Tokyo - Arts and Sciences

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned the different customs within cultures that differ from America. In addition, I improved my Japanese and accepted the nerve-wracking feelings one can get from not being able to communicate in a foreign language.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

2 out of the 3 classes I enrolled in were very enjoyable and informative. However, 1 out of 3 courses was rather difficult in regard to the amount of material needed to be memorized for the final. It was an unreasonable amount of information.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The on-site administration was very friendly however, I feel that the Director was lacking in the aspect of being a Director. There was a lack of response when problems were address. In addition, this was common among all students (data collected from opinions from fellow study abroad students).

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The housing provided as a shelter and space for students to build relationships. However, utilities such as the showers, rooms, and miscommunication from Japanese residents and study abroad students created a less enjoyable experience.

* Food:

I purchased food with my own funds therefore, it was really delicious!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I build relationships with fellow Japanese locals through our housing environment and in addition, I joined a club within the University.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did not utilize the healthcare that was offered. However, students who did utilize it were in great care and it was at a great price.

* Safety:

It was extremely safe which put students at ease in regard to their own safety.

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

I would choose the same program however, I would choose a different location. But I would be interested in looking into other programs.


* 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)

I understood the need to budget my money however, students should be lectured heavily in order to understand the possible consequences of not budgeting properly. For example, potentially starving due to lack of funds.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? It varies per week but on average $70 or less in a week.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Answer three questions before you purchase. 1) Why do I need it? 2) Will I use it every day? 3) Is it worth the money? Therefore, instead of just mindlessly buying because you like something you can have a process in which you think about what you're buying.


* 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

The program encouraged using Japanese because it helped communicate with locals who did not speak Japanese. In addition, we were given homework every day and I wanted to use the language because of the effort I was putting in.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Japanese 1 (Introduction)
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? Be consistent.

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?
  • Fellow Study Abroad Students
  • Food
  • Scenery
* What could be improved?
  • Release of the courses being CURRENTLY offered
  • The isolation of home stay students
  • Communication between the dorm students and locals in terms of those who chose to NOT do homestay
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew about the eating etiquette of eating Ramen because I made employees frustrated in the beginning but I am sure because I am an American that I got a pass for my mistakes.