Not Easy January 10, 2019

By (University of Hartford) - abroad from 08/28/2018 to 12/16/2018 with

IES Abroad: Tokyo - Language & Culture

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned about the Japanese Language and Japanese art like I wanted to. I learned a lot from my E-pal who was very nice and helpful. I would say it was somewhat worthwhile but overall very difficult.

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The dorm was nice, however, no one who worked there spoke fluent English. It was also very far away from the University.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Overall it seemed pretty safe.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

It was too much work for much too little. The classes had too much of a work load and did not teach that much as it all felt like busy work. I feel as if I hardly learned anything and would have been better off at my own university. I did not ever really enjoy myself for the bulk of the trip and did not feel very welcome hardly anywhere.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 100 dollars
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Don't travel a lot if you want to save money, the trains in Japan cost quite a bit.

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

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? High School Italian
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? Talk to people in Japanese I suppose and don't try to use much English.

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
* 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?
  • Exploring the country
  • Meeting locals
  • Attentive Staff
* What could be improved?
  • Preperation
  • Housing
  • Classes
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? More Japanese. I was told I was not required to speak Japanese, although it was recommended. I felt as if it should have been required, because I had to rely on a lot of people just to figure out how to do basic tasks.

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 Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'