The Total Package Past Review

By (University of Rochester) - abroad from 08/08/2016 to 12/16/2016 with

IES Abroad: Nagoya Direct Enrollment - Nanzan University

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I was really looking to improve my speaking ability and learn more about the culture, as I am half Japanese. The experience really opened my eyes to a new sense of self.

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 all very helpful! If possible for your schedule, make sure to take a seminar class with Japanese students at Nanzan. It was my favorite class, and many study abroad students wished they were in one. They includes nice projects, open discussions, small parties, and even trip with the classmates. Amazing experience.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The administrators are all very nice and helpful, as well. Masae-san and Satoshi-san were fun to be around and we learned so much from them! Be sure to get to know them.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Housing is not bad at all. They are actually really nice, but make sure you choose based on your priorities. Most students lived in dorms close to the school (convenience), many did homestay (great immersion), and some did farther International dorms (exploration). I personally did the International dorm and they are beautiful and solo spaces! The plus side is that you are forced to engage in Japanese with everyone, there are many Japanese students living around you, and you get the advantage of knowing your way around the city well. It's a bit farther from school, so if you choose it I hope you're okay with the time it takes.

* Food:

Both on-campus and off, there is no shortage of good food to eat! Make it a priority to be trying new places and foods to get the full experience. Near Nanzan there is actually a restaurant called Mountain; it was super popular with foreign students so try it maybe. Also, don't be scared of convenient stores- they're actually decent.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Unless you take initiative to make friends and be involved with the culture, it will be hard to feel like you got a great experience. Don't feel scared to just get to know students are travel around to see things. People are generally kind and interested in getting to know you. Be brave!

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I actually got terribly sick during my stay and I was so scared at first. I was going about things on my own, and it is not something to be scared of. However, the program directors were so easy and quick to get in contact with me when they heard through my friends (literally within an hour- 9AM). Therefore, if you have concerns, rest assured that you are in good hands.

* Safety:

They have a safety system set up in case of emergency (i.e. flood, tornado, tsunami), and we actually had to use it. Everyone is accounted for or contacted very quickly, so I felt safe. Nagoya also had almost no crime- and we did not witness anything more severe than tickets on over-parked cars. Even if you stay out late, it does not feel dangerous.

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

The IES experience was truly beyond what I expected from studying abroad. While we were given great cultural classes in addition to our regular classes, they assured that students were truly immersed in exploration, creating international friendships, and having a working understanding of the language and social aspects. The trips included many cultural experiences that even normal Japanese people do not get to do (i.e. very nice tea houses!). Even when I was going on side trips with friends, Nagoya's location is perfectly located so that you can easily get to visit tourist favorites, such as Tokyo and Osaka, with ease. It also is a big city with many attractions within itself, but you get the feeling of it being legitimately Japan. Especially among my friends who were really searching for actually learning the culture and improving their language skills, Nagoya's Nanazan University the best program fit. If you're still deciding which program to choose, you won't regret choosing IES Nagoya!


* 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)

While I think it is very manageable, my friends and I were often ones to overspend because we enjoyed the food, travel, and going out often. Many students were more conscious of budgets and still had an amazing time too. The living cost is not expensive if you plan ahead and manage yourself.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I would spend about $100-$200 on extra expenses each week. Again, this may not be generally representative of other students.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Plan ahead. Know how much you have, what you need, and what you have to spend for fun. As long as you have your priorities straight for living, you will be able to enjoy your time better with your fun money.


* 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

Constantly. We had class each morning for the whole morning. You want an immersive and intense language program? Come here and be prepared to learn. You'll love your decision.

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? Beginner Level
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 use it while speaking as much as you can. It can be embarrassing at first, but you will see yourself improving so much more. Speaking is really the most important thing you'll need when abroad, so good luck! :)

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
  • Other
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Making local friends
  • Ease of travel
  • Encouraging learning environment
* What could be improved?
  • pre-entry advising staff advice
  • knowing class availability before arrival
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? If the specific class I wanted to enter were actually offered. Some actually didn't exist anymore, but the information I was shown was outdated so I didn't know.

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 Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.