A New Discovery Every Day Past Review

By (Economics., The University of Texas at Austin) - abroad from 05/29/2013 to 07/14/2013 with

IES Abroad: Tokyo - Tokyo Summer

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
An understanding of the way Japanese culture works, and an improvement in my own Japanese fluency. I would say it was very worthwhile.

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.

The selection of professors was a very good one, I felt I learned alot during my short time there.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Excellent location in the middle of Tokyo, ad the only complain I had was that my fellow students would not be quiet after 11:pm and even until the early mornings on school days. (The center did not muffle sound well)

* Food:

There were free cafe coupons, but the food was lacking. However, around Japan the food was amazing. I barely used the coupons except for green tea.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I made friends and I felt like I could socialize well. However I had to go out on my own, I preferred making friends that way.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Did not get sick.

* Safety:

Japan is a very safe country and I felt safe walking out at night.

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 did not purchase any unnecessary things like clothes or toys, however I enjoyed some good foods. The food in Tokyo was surprisingly cheap.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $100-$200
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? The convenient stores have delicious and very cheap meals and snacks.


* 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? 3rd semester of Japanese at UT Austin
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? The best way to improve your language skills is talking to the locals.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
  • Hostel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* 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?
  • Education
  • Location
  • Field Trips
* What could be improved?
  • A longer period of stay
  • More rules in the dorm, couldn't sleep some days because of fellow students rowdyness
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? A greater understanding of the language

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.'