Great city, perhaps not the best school Past Review

By (Mathematics and Computer Science, Brandeis University) - abroad from 06/02/2015 to 07/18/2015 with

IES Abroad: Nagoya Direct Enrollment - Nanzan University

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot about the language and about another culture, as well as about the lives of people who group up in other parts of the world that were also doing the program.

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.

This was a very intense program. Definitely don't go after only one year of instruction, and if you can avoid it do not transfer grades. Japanese grading systems and teaching styles are drastically different, you likely will not get the grade you want if you plan to transfer it.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

IES did very well with this, Nanzan was alright as long as it didn't get to any social issues. They do not know how to deal with harassment or inappropriate behavior, especially when the perpetrator is male.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The dorms were very nice! And the Japanese students you are paired with are very polite and excited to make friends. The rooms were not, however, the cleanest when we first arrived. There were leftover clothes and items everywhere, and the room desperately needed to be vacuumed and scrubbed. Additionally, you have to pay for WiFi, it is not provided for free.

* Food:

On campus food is very good and very inexpensive. There are also a number of convenience stores and grocery stores nearby.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

On one hand, Nagoya is not very tourist friendly, so we were forced to use Japanese which helped a lot. On the other hand, with the workload from the classes, we didn't get out a ton. I do feel that I learned a ton about the culture, more than I would have in a tourist city like Tokyo or Kyoto.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did not use health services.

* Safety:

It's so safe. I kept my phone in a clear, open side pocket, and nothing was stolen in the two months I was there.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No


* 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)

I spent about $150 to $200 a week on food and a few small items. Food is about $5 to $10 per meal.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $150 to $200
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Try everything, but try to try everything only once.


* 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

We used the language in classes, and there was a Japanese-only pledge but it was not very enforced in the classroom.

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? Continuing Japanese (Semester 2, Genki 7-12)
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? Try to speak only Japanese while there, even if you mess up, they appreciate you trying.

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
* 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 city
* What could be improved?
  • Help for students
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That it s made for more advanced students and that it is possible to direct enroll for much less expensive.

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 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!