Spring in Nagoya Past Review

By (International Studies, Illinois Wesleyan University) - abroad from 01/04/2015 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 definitely worthwhile. There were so many opportunities for me to meet new people and experience life in another culture.

Review Photos

IES Abroad: Nagoya - Nanzan University Photo IES Abroad: Nagoya - Nanzan University Photo IES Abroad: Nagoya - Nanzan University Photo IES Abroad: Nagoya - Nanzan University Photo IES Abroad: Nagoya - Nanzan University Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The intensive Japanese language programs were great and challenging. The art courses were really enjoyable. The other area courses had interesting material although some of them seemed to lack structure.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The local staff were the best! They were very helpful in assisting us with anything we needed.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The housing itself was decent. I stayed in Nagoya Koryu Kaikan which is very conveniently located a 2 minute walk from the school's main gate. The building is a little old and some of the appliances could stand to be replaced (we actually did get a new TV and rice cooker while I was there). My main issue with the dorm was my Japanese roommate. My roommate was very quite and preferred to stay in her room most of the time. This was disappointing for me since I was expecting more interaction with my roommate considering this was an "international" dorm. Although my roommate situation was not the best, most of my friends in the dorm had a great experience and had strong relationships with their roommates.

* Food:

I personally love Japanese food so I had no issues with the food over there.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

It would have been good if we had had more opportunities to interact with the local community.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

During my time on the program I did not need to use local healthcare but my roommate did. Unfortunately, she became very sick during Golden Week and so many of the local clinics were closed and we ended up going to the nearby hospital. Between the both of us we managed to get through it but it would have been very difficult for any students of lower language level. There was no help from the program and most staff at clinics/hospitals speak little to no English. A little more assistance would have been useful.

* Safety:

When it comes to Japan, safety is usually something that students don't have to worry about too much. Of course you should always be aware of your surroundings and quickly leave situations that don't feel safe but during my semester in Nagoya there was not a single moment that I felt unsafe.

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 at the school is cheap and good! Plus students living in the dorms get 30,000 yen a month returned to them to cover food expenses.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 5000-7500 yen
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Keep a budget and set a personal limit for how much money you can spend on extra things.


* 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 202 (4 semesters)
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? Even though it can be exhausting, take every opportunity to use the language. Make the most of the time you are there because it is truly the best opportunity to practice with native speakers.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • 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?
  • Travel opportunities
  • Local staff
  • Language program
* What could be improved?
  • Roommate selection process
  • More opportunities to interact with locals
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had known how few opportunities there would be to get involved in the community so that I could have taken better advantage of them.