Sakura blossom Past Review

By (Psychology, Brandeis University) - abroad from 01/06/2015 to 04/24/2015 with

Columbia University: Kyoto - Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies / KCJS

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Not only did I learn abut the Japanese language and culture, but, more importantly, self discovery and independence. It was definitely worthwhile living in a new country, a new environment.

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.

In general, KCJS is considered more rigorous and demanding tha other programs. However, it really depends on what kind of student you are, what's ou want to get out of this study abroad experience, and which language class you are placed in.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was lucky to have been placed in a very sweet host family. howcer, not everyone was happy about their placement. In general, everyone was happy about their host family. Itreally helped me with my language learning.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

It definitely required effort to be integrated into the local culture. It is very important to have an open mind and get out of your comfort zone.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Japan is very safe. I felt very comfortable just roamin around the streets on my own, even at night. The public transportation is also very convenient.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 50


* 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

There is an all Japanese requirement in the building and KCJS events.

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? Took Japanese every semester
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? Make local friends and participate in local events.

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

  • Americans
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?
  • Location: Kyoto
  • Language course
* What could be improved?
  • Elective course
  • Number of students (too little)
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Time traveled way too fast! Have a bucket list and treasure everyday. It ends way too fast.

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.'