The best 2 weeks of my life - EF in Tokyo August 18, 2016

By (Japanese, University of Tsukuba) - abroad from 07/11/2015 to 08/28/2016 with

EF - LEARN A LANGUAGE ABROAD

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Besides being more open to other cultures and languages, I also learned how to become a better person. Truthfully, I had two very negative things happen to me while I was on this trip. However, looking back upon it, I know it was for the best and I am growing from it.

Review Photos

EF - LEARN A LANGUAGE ABROAD Photo EF - LEARN A LANGUAGE ABROAD Photo EF - LEARN A LANGUAGE ABROAD Photo

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.

The teachers are really encouraging and supportive of the students. The only thing I don't like about it though, is new students are placed in an "already continuing" class. So you jump in, in the middle of it. It's a little confusing at first, but the teachers are very good at getting you caught up!

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

They were very responsible and supportive. They helped me through all of the admissions and were patient as well.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I, personally, absolutely adored my host family. They were so nice and kind towards me and my host sister (who is from Russia).

* Food:

Japanese food is amazing. So healthy (usually) and tasty. I lost weight in Japan because of my diet and I felt so much healthier! But this all differs from person-to-person!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Being a white girl in an Asian culture is kinda... nerve wracking. However, being very short, I didn't get as many stares as my tall white friends. Japanese people are very kind!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I personally didn't have any health problems while here. My host family did give me ointment cream and a bandaid for my blisters. That's about it. But before going abroad with EF, you're given a chance to receive insurance. I HIGHLY recommend taking it, even if you have to pay $75 more. You never know what can happen.

* Safety:

Japan is a very safe country in general. However, I would say that Chikan's (train perverts) are a very common thing there. It can happen to any gender, but young women are targetted the most. Just be aware when there is rush hour, and keep a bag towards your chest. Please don't be afraid to push them away either. I had a chikan experience and was very scared.

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

I really loved going with EF. They were so kind towards me and supportive. The classes were very nice and I loved the staff as well. They were a lot of fun to talk to and very easy-going.

Finances

* 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)

You're in Tokyo, one of the most expensive cities in the world. I didn't spend too much since I ate a lot at the convenience store. But if you want to do special excursions with EF, some can be pricey (like a Yukata Experience).

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $60
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? The most expensive food isn't always the most delicious. I got a $2 Nikuman at Family Mart, just below the school. Very cheap and very yummy.

Language

* 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

Yes, unless you had an emergency, you are encouraged to speak Japanese to the teachers. But a lot of the teachers and staff members there could understand English.

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? 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? Stay after class with your teacher if you need extra help! They're there to help you learn! They're very nice, I promise!

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • 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?
  • The students
  • The staff
  • The excursions/culture
* What could be improved?
  • Classes structure
  • Transportation (people who bring you to the airport)
  • Prices/Financial aid possibly
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Don't be afraid to try new things, especially Natto! :) And don't be afraid to speak Japanese, that's the only way I can/will learn.

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.'