Kawaii! Past Review

By (Borough of Manhattan Community College) - abroad from 07/23/2017 to 08/05/2017 with

CUNY - College of Staten Island: Kyoto - Study Abroad at Ritsumeikan University

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
yes, I learned that I have to hone my speaking skills and to not music to block out when I want to ignore a situation.i can face it head on or just enjoy the moment.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

It was relatively easy and vigorous learning the language but I loved the challenge. it is inspiring me to take more language classes. My intercultural communication skills have soared.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

NAKAHARA MAKOTO, TOYOSAKI MAI, VOKRRI ATSUKO, YONEZAWA HANAYO, AND TANAKA TAKESHI. Each Professor taught me something that I didn't expect. I appreciated how they strived to communicate with me in English. it made me work harder to try and communicate in Japanese.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The hotel we stayed at was so modern it felt like I lived there. I was so sad to go. It was close to Ritsumeikan University but the only bad thing is it was far from Tokyo. I just learned to visit the town and small attractions in Kyoto.

* Food:

I actually adapted to the lifestyle quicky. I love asian food but to see how much more inexpensive and healthier it was. I quickly started making my own breakfast, shopping at the grocery store during special hours, and staying hydrated.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The stares bothered me a lot. I cried one day because I realized I was different from many. Many weren't used to seeing someone of my color where they lived and since I am half fluent. The conversation and accent were a hindrance.Yet I adapted to these changes and received compliments on my beauty, hair color, and how gorgeous my complexion I was. Seeing the beauty they felt for their country, cultural values, and importance of customs inspired me to instill this more in my everyday life.When I reached home.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had a heatstroke and they checked on me. One day I even was lost because I was still recovering and the Professors were watching over me.

* Safety:

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

They just made me appreciate my culture, my dream to be a worldwide entertainer is attainable, and to embrace every stare, misconception, and weakness I encountered. You have to work at everything and Japan pop culture was more than just music, food, and anime. The language is a barrier but only if we allow it. intercultural Communications open a world that can surprise even you.


* 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)

It was hard to not spend on food because it was so fresh and delicious. The food was one of the highlights of the trip for me. I was quite happy.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $200
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I don't know how you can save. Just apply for every scholarship and work to save money for life and the abroad trip.


* 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

It felt rushed but I decided to dedicate more time with one of the buddies studying. Sawako Watanabe really made me happy I kept trying. I am taking language classes privately soon now that I am home.

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? Beginner
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? Tape everything, listen to honorifics and keep practicing. You will retain and learn over time.THe way it is in dramas is not the same as with how it works in real life.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Hostel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Other
* 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?
  • learning
  • the Professors
  • meeting new people
* What could be improved?
  • i wish we had more tours of the studio's
  • we had more time with the buddies to meet and also do language exchange class with them.
  • It shouldn't feel rushed just a steady pace.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew how much I would be stared at, how I could be ignored by some in the program because of my speaking or Americanized ways, and the feeling of being alone. Yet seeing home treated me made me explore more and I learned more alone than with others. It made it easier for me to immerse in the 2 weeks even when struggling, I am glad I didn't know before i went.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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The Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.