A Summer in Tokyo October 03, 2019

By (Washington State University) - abroad from 06/03/2019 to 07/05/2019 with

IES Abroad: Tokyo - Tokyo Summer

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I had tested into the higher division of the 3000 level classes. I believe the level of instruction in class is more than satisfactory. Classes are quite personal (~8-20 people). Each class does various extracurricular activities throughout the semester based on level. These range from cooking classes with native Japanese students to traveling to national museums to learn more about the country and culture of Japan. But I believe the true value of the program is found beyond the boundaries of the campus. Shinjuku station lies a twenty-minute walk or five-minute train ride to the North of campus. From there, the entirety of Tokyo’s 23 wards, an area spanning 239 sq mi, is accessible via subways. metros, buses, and a multitude of other modes of transportation. A new perspective of Japanese culture to the commuters that get off at every station. From the hub of anime and everything Japanese pop related in Akihabara, to the 3-starred Michelin restaurants and ultra-luxury malls of Ginza, every destination that comes to mind when thinking of Japan is within a stone’s throw from the youth centre. You could even take a weekend trip to Kyoto or Sapporo if you wanted (something that I frequently did via the bullet train coming out of Tokyo station). I have made many friends in the program, fellow exchange student and native Japanese alike. I will never forget the memories that we made in class, the nights in the karaoke booths in Shibuya, or the subsequent trips to the adjacent streets lined with “izakaya”s. You can only learn so much about Japan from inside of the classroom. But, if you are truly interested in learning more about the country, what its people and culture are really like, then why not take a summer to learn abroad in the most populous city in all of Japan?

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* 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:

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $200
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Make sure that you have a good deal saved up before you go abroad, you will always be running low on cash with all the stuff that you would want to buy. Once there, be smart, and be conservative with extracurricular purchases


* 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

Absolutely necessary to learn the language or at least try your best to do so

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Advanced
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Fluent
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 300 level courses
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? GET AN ELECTRONIC DICTIONARY! There are many electronic dictionaries available in Japan that translate from Japanese - English, vice versa, and a ton of other languages. IT IS NOT GOOGLE TRANSLATE. It is sooo much more and it has definitely facilitated my ability to learn the language.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* 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?
  • Sense of Community with Fellow Students
  • Extracurricular Activities
* What could be improved?
  • Laundromat
  • Information about communal facilities
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? About all of the communal facilities. These include the wetroom, restroom, and landromat

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!