Life in Japan Past Review

By (Mount Holyoke College) - abroad from 07/04/2016 to 05/22/2016 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 what it is like to live in Japan as a resident rather than a tourist. I will use this information in the future when I am applying for jobs overseas.

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

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My dorm's rules were incredibly strict and dissuaded me from spending any time there.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Compared to America, Healthcare in Japan is incredibly accessible and afforadable.

* Safety:

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

I can easily say that the 5 months I spent in Nagoya were the best of my life. I wish I could have stayed for the full 10 months, and I was incredibly sad to return to the states. The intensive courses were challenging but very rewarding; by the end of the program I had made noticeable leaps in my language abilities. While I enjoyed going out on my own cultural excursions, the trips arranged by IES were incredibly enjoyable. I was able to visit places that I never would have on my own, and got to interact with locals during origami and pottery workshops. The biggest downside I faced was my living situation. I was set up in an international dorm, which was conveniently close to Nanzan's campus. I was lucky in this sense; everyone else in IES had a 30+ minute commute and had to pay for their subway passes. However, my dorm had incredibly strict rules, and was quite different from the American dorms I've lived in. The dorm had 24 hour surveillance, with a security guard on the premises at all times. Any guests, even from the same program, were explicitly forbidden. Due to these rules, I spent very little time in my dorm.


* 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)

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? Bring a water bottle, make sure to double check that your bank does not incur international fees. Bank of America ended up charging me over $100 for using Japanese ATMs


* 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? Advanced
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? 400 Level Japanese
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Talk to your fellow study abroad participants in the country's language

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • 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?
  • Field trips
  • Immersion
  • Transportation Accessibility
* What could be improved?
  • Information on housing
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Japanese dorms are strict, Bank of America charges international fees, leave a lot of packing room in your luggage.

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!