Breaking Down Perceptions Past Review

By (Brandeis University) - abroad from 09/17/2019 to 03/15/2020 with

CIEE: Tokyo - Arts and Sciences

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained a sense of inclusion and familiarity with Japanese culture, as well as a huge group of lifelong family and friends.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Sophia is a well-regarded university with plenty of academic resources and engaging professors. It was a great program academically.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The CIEE Tokyo staff were wonderful, communicative and supportive.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

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

Tokyo was the right decision. I don't know a single person from my program who wasn't infatuated with the city and its many facets of life. For me, living with a host family was absolutely the best decision, and fully integrated me into the culture.


* 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)

Food at university is cheap (around $4 for a meal) and filling. Budgeting comes down to limiting optional shopping excursions.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $150


* 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? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Japanese 40
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+

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

  • Local Students
  • 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?
  • The Food
  • The Locale
  • CIEE Support
* What could be improved?
  • Excursion Flexibility
  • Activities with Local Students
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The image of Tokyo that exists in your head is completely different from the real thing. At first glance it might look like any other sprawling metropolis, but you'll find the interesting bits in time.

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.'