A great Japanese study abroad experience August 13, 2019

By (Rochester Institute of Technology) - abroad from 01/06/2019 to 05/18/2019 with

IES Abroad: Nagoya Direct Enrollment - Nanzan University

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Aside from drastically improving my Japanese, I grew so much as a person and gained a lot more confidence.

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Both the IES and Nanzan staff were super kind, helpful and understanding. I've had so much help from them and I can't thank them enough.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived with a host family for the first 4 months and then had to move to the dorm for the last month due to health issues of a family member. My host family was nice, but not ideal. I only wish I talked with Nanzan university staff early on.

* Food:

Eating out in Japan can be very cheap compared to the US and you can easily get decent food from the convenience stores. If I wanted to I could easily spend under 10000 yen a week for per-prepped food that isn't cup ramen.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

when you come to Japan on a student visa, you must register with the local municipal ward where you get both your foreigner identification card and national health insurance. The national health insurance in japan cover 70% of your fees meaning you only have to pay 30% out of pocket.

* Safety:

It's Japan. the most dangerous things you will have to worry about are card accidents and the chance of a major earthquake. However, Nagoya has the highest burglary rate in the country so you might have to be more wary than in other parts of the country. That being said, it is still much safer than anywhere in the US and you really shouldn't worry.

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

Finances

* 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)

You could easily spend under $100 a week on food and personal expenses. Especially if you live with a host family

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? maybe 10,000 yen or $91-92 when at the time of the program. And that was much more than I needed to spend when I was living with a host family.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Create a budget. Use something like nerdwallet, bluecoins or any other budgeting app. I didn't start budgeting until half way through my internship in Tokyo and I really wish I started budgeting from the start of my time in Japan. Even thought things seem cheap, your expenses will add up very quickly.Try setting up daily, weekly, and monthly budgets for each area of your expensive such as food, transportation for school, transportation for leisure trips, souvenirs, etc.

Language

* 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

living in Japan while taking such a fast paced program will drastically improve your Japanese abilities.

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? Intermeidate Japanese II
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? Try to take enjoyment in what you are learning. Get excited by learning new things and figuring out different grammar combinations. As soon as you start doing so, learning because so much easier. if you let yourself get bitter about it, it will be much harder for you. Also be sure to use Japanese whenever and wherever you can. Nanzan has Japan plaza which is a great resource which I unfortunately did not use.

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
  • International Students
  • 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?
  • The City
  • The Staff
  • The school
* What could be improved?
  • non-trip event experiences
  • networking events for students looking to work
  • event timing
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? That no matter how cheap things are or how much money you have, you have to budget. Put yourself out there and engage with people. If you are feeling down, spending time with someone can make you feel better. If you have a problem that can be solved and you need help, don't keep it bottled up, and don't be afraid to ask for help.

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 Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.