An Awesome Semester in Nagoya Japan! Past Review

By (Art History, George Washington University) - abroad from 01/03/2015 to 05/24/2015 with

IES Abroad: Nagoya Direct Enrollment - Nanzan University

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
This experience was so worthwhile that I cannot even imagine what my college experience would have been without it. I can't really imagine who I would have been as a person without this experience! It is very difficult to list all of the things that I learned and gained in a short paragraph. Studying abroad is an opportunity to learn not only about a culture very different than yours, but about yourself and who you would like to become. Practically, my Japanese language skills developed a lot. I am very pleased with the progress I have made, and look forward to continuing my studies. I also feel as though the way I see the world has been broadened. It is very interesting to see the changes in my own way of thinking now that I am aware of some of the nuances of Japanese culture, and how ways of thinking can be so different not only from person to person but across cultures.

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Local IES Staff were amazing and always willing to help you if you needed assistance. Really nice people that helped to make the entire trip a blast!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Great experience with both homestay family and Nanzan University's International Dorm.

* Food:

Cafeteria food is actually pretty delicious and at prices you could only dream of in America. Cheap prices and delicious, but there are great places to eat off campus as well.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did not have any health issues while here and therefore cannot comment comment on the local healthcare system or how my program responds. However, I had Japanese health insurance and definitely felt prepared in case of any such issues.

* Safety:

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)

Food is relatively cheap here, especially if you eat on campus, live with a host family, or make your own food. Eating out at restaurants and going out is as expensive as one might expect so simply be reasonable and the budgeting is relatively easy.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? maybe around 40 dollars a week for grocery shopping or eating on campus, more if I went out for dinner or lunch.


* 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

While IES staff and some staff members at the University speak some English, it is definitely encouraged to use and practice your Japanese language ability (no matter how much, just try!)

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

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • Host Family
* 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?
  • IES Field Trips
  • Intensive Japanese
  • My host family
* What could be improved?
  • Elective Courses
  • Campus Technology
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? While I am pleased with the level of education and intensive study I received at Nanzan University (Center for Japanese Studies), but there were a few things I would have liked to know beforehand. First of all, the Center for Japanese Studies runs an intensive Japanese study program and it is just that. If you are not prepared for a heavy workload and speaking only Japanese in the classroom, then I would look elsewhere. If you are interested in developing your Japanese level significantly, then make sure to look into Nanzan's teaching style and curriculum (including textbooks) and compare it to your own University or your own study experience. While I believe that my own University's curriculum is quite good, I ended up placing in a lower level than I had anticipated, mostly because there were gaps between what my University views as important and what Nanzan University views as important at a certain level. It really wasn't a big problem and I still learned quite a lot, but you should be aware of it, especially if your home University is picky about what level you place into.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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The Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!