Four Months of Japan in One Review October 02, 2017

By (University of Rochester) - abroad from 03/21/2017 to 07/09/2017 with

IES Abroad: Tokyo - Language & Culture

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained friends, another family in a different country and experience. But overall, I gained a new found love for a culture and country that isn't mine and I can't wait to visit again.

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.

I would go back to Japan in a heartbeat if someone told me I could take up schooling there (provided I can afford it of course).

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The administration always answered any questions I had and if they didn't have an answer, they directed me to someone who could answer me.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My homestay was great! My parents and housemate always made me feel welcomed and even loved.

* Food:

I loveeeeeeeee Japanese cuisine and never did I worry about going hungry. Food is generally cheap and my homestay mom's cooking was the best.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt welcomed and since I was learning the language I was there, I felt like I could involve and immerse myself more into the culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

There were no problems with healthcare at all and I had resources at the ready if need be.

* Safety:

I always felt never and never did I have to worry about my well being while abroad.

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

I absolutely loved everything about the program, the administration and the locals I could befriend. I would love to see my host family and friends again!

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)

I had to budget accordingly for activity travels, social interaction and just for everyday.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? About maybe ¥10,000 a week.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Always look for second hand stores and cheaper food. You do not need a high class or fancy restaurant to truly enjoy the taste of Japan.

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

I lived in Japan for four months. And although Tokyo had a lot of English provided around local areas. Depending where I went, store owners and some restaurants only were in Japanese.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? N/A
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? Study Hiragana hard. It'll be so helpful and don't be afraid to ask for help or make mistakes! You only get better through practice and correction. Don't get discouraged either! You can do it eventually!

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
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?
  • Food
  • Friends
  • Traveling (Trains were always on time)
* What could be improved?
  • I would love more culture programs!
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew of the second hand stores to get memorabilia and the cheaper ways to travel. It would of saved me so much money.

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.