EPICNESS. Past Review

By (Fine Arts, Studio Arts, Brandeis University) - abroad from 03/24/2015 to 07/12/2015 with

IES Abroad: Tokyo - Language & Culture

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained a new perspective on life. I realized how much joy, laughter, and happiness I could have with friends. I realized how big the world is and how much I have not seen. I strengthened my language skills. I learned that I can be independent. I learned that I am comfortable with being an adult. I learned that Japan is the country I want to live in. This experience was worth everything in the world.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

All of the classes were very interesting and helped me further understand the country I was in. The workload was heavy due to the amount of classes I was taking.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

They were amazing and helped make the transition from America to Japan much easier. They provided help whenever I needed it, but they also did a good job of creating a safe environment.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

Dorm food was alright. There was no love in the food, but it did its job.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The program's staff and volunteers helped me integrate further in the countries culture. The programs staff took us on field trips to different parts of Japan. The volunteers gave us a more hands on look at the culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Japan. I did not have any trouble with healthcare. Fortunately I did not experience any troubles that required me to use my health care. But, the program assisted me with setting up my health care while I was abroad. Some of my friends experience health complications and the program helped the students whenever they had these complications.

* Safety:

SAFE. Japan is one of the safest countries in the world. I felt safe all the time, but make sure you don't get too comfortable. You are in a different country and stick out because you are a foreigner. You should feel comfortable, but remember that crime can still happen.

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)

I tried to budget for $100/week. It was not difficult and I was able to manage this.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $40
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Save all the money you can. I worked for 7 years before and during my time at my college. I did not experience an extended period of time where I did not work. Sometimes I spent too much money thinking I could just gain it again. This was not the case. Save all the money you can because it will help you experience more in the country.


* 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? 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? One year of 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? Do a language exchange. Students are looking to learn english and other languages. Take advantage of these opportunities because you will not have the same opportunity back home.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • International Students
* 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?
  • The staff
  • The students
  • Professors
* What could be improved?
  • Nothing
  • Nothing
  • Nothing
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? How expensive Japan can be.

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.