Awesome Memories with Tokyo Summer with IES Past Review

By (Pennsylvania State University - University Park / Penn State) - abroad from 05/26/2016 to 07/10/2016 with

IES Abroad: Tokyo - Tokyo Summer

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Planning is important if you want to go abroad. Not only planning for traveling spots, but also spending budgets, ways of making friends with locals and how you gonna spend every day wisely. It definitely helps.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Course is not hard. Need 1 - 2 hours per day to complete the homework but it's just half day course Mon-Fri.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Questions are answered fast. On campus ambassador really helped a lot.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Rooms are small but doesn't matter to me that much since I don't stay in the room most of the time.

* Food:

Breakfast fee are included. Other than that, it depends on what you want to eat. In general, Japanese food is pretty delicious and more authentic than America's Japanese food.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

IES program provides lots of opportunities to get in touch with local communities and know the history of local communities.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

They have safety information before class starts. Protect yourself and when you have injuries, don't hesitate to contact the staff and assistants as soon as possible.

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

The staff are really nice and considerate. They think for the students, which makes me love the program so much. Besides, all the activities are so tempting. Location of housing is in the center of Tokyo. I would definitely choose this place.


* 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)

It's relatively expensive to live in Tokyo. Even locals say that it's expensive to some extend. It all depends on what you want to explore and spend money on.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 120 dollars
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Before you go abroad, you would want to save money for better experience in Tokyo. It's a international city so the living standard is relatively high, but prepare well and you will be fine.


* 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

Classes are given only in Japanese, and teachers (pretend) don't know any English so my Japanese definitely improved a lot. Also we have class projects to interview local people.

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? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Japanese 110
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 proficiency of the language wouldn't affect your class experience since they have different levels. However, I would suggest you knowing basic conversations so that you can deal with daily needs by yourself. But don't worry, your language skill will definitely improve in the environment.

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
  • 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?
  • Staff's consiferation
  • Fast reply on questions
* What could be improved?
  • Recommendation on what to do
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I could know that there was an Aikido Hombu Dojo in Tokyo so that I would go and practice Aikido everyday from the very first day.

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 Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.