Awesome! I Will Return to Japan One Day Past Review

By (Japanese Language and Literature., The University of Texas at Austin) - abroad from 05/31/2012 to 07/15/2012 with

IES Abroad: Tokyo - Tokyo Summer

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I made new friends, whom I plan to keep in touch with. I learned how to be more independent compared to before my study abroad experience. I also have matured during my study abroad experience. I can say that I learned first-hand knowledge about Japanese culture, after being taught for two years. I definately believe that this trip was worthwhile.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

There was a lot of studying outside of the class. The teachers were helpful, and they also held their own office hours, in case you need help on understanding any information.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The program administration was nice and very helpful. I am glad I had the oppertunity to meet them.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The housing for this program was somewhat dissappointing. We stayed at the National Olympic Center. The center itself was okay, however in the dorm rooms there was a lot of mold. However, the program staff was helpful in removing the mold. On a more positive note the dorms location was perfect!!!

* Food:

The breakfast meal tickets that were issued was not what I was expecting. In addition they could only be used at two cafes on site. Also,there wasn't too much of a variety to choose from. There wasn't any cooking supplies or even a microwave or a refrigerator. However, they did have a hot water heater, that came in handy more times than I can count. I can definately say that if this was available I would have a better food experience.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The program provided us with E-pals, whom were excellent. Although our area was in a great location, I would have to say that if you didn't go out and off site a lot the interaction with the Japanese culture was limited. So I definately suggest going off site often.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I didn't get sick in Japan so I didn't use my healthcare insurance. Also, I didn't need to get any shots to go to Japan but I did get the meningitis shot since I was in a dorm environment.

* Safety:

Japan was very safe and I personally never felt like I was in danger and there were a couple of nights where I walked home by myself. Of course you should still use the same precautions that you use at home.

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)

Tokyo is very expensive, as a matter of fact it was more expensive than I thought. And to make matters worst the Japanese yen is stronger than the US dollar at this time so it was even more expensive when looking at the dollar amount. I would say I spent a over $200.00 per week, majority of the expense went to food, but there are other factors too.

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? Yes
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I would say about $230 on food and transporation.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? When I first got to Tokyo I always took the subway. However, toward the end of my study abroad I began to walk places that were about 15-30 minutes away on foot, depending where you go. I also, tried to eat out less, and not eat as much a day as I did when I first got to Tokyo. I also invested in going to the supermarket, who became my best friend, which help save a ton of 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

I started my upper-division class in Japan, so my professors never used English in the class.

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? JPN 412L
How many hours per day did you use the language?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
  • 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?
  • Home-stay
  • Sightseeing
  • The people
* What could be improved?
  • Dorm living
  • Internet
  • Field Trip coordination- some information was changed at the spare of the moment
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? More information on the other scholarships that are out there for study abroad.