Tokyo: A City of Cities Past Review

By (Computer Science / Japanese Language, The University of Texas at Austin) for

IES Abroad: Tokyo - Tokyo Summer

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I enjoyed my time there thoroughly and plan to return sometime. Until then I had never been abroad and am glad to have the experience.

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.

Overall, the workload was pretty light averaging about 1 hour of work to do each day outside of class. Presentations took a bit of preparation but the content was generally pretty simple. I enjoyed the daily free conversation in class about different topics as well as attempting to explain ideas/stories to our professor.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Very available and willing to help. If you wanted to practice your Japanese with them they were more than happy to speak with you. Overall, they were a lot of fun and I was happy to see their enthusiasm while working.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The dorm room was extremely small, but I had my own working air conditioner which was amazing because it was a very hot summer in Tokyo. Although the dorm was filled with the other Americans and we had a ton of fun, I would have liked to have some local students to speak/hang out with. I had an elderly couple as a host family. Their home was a beautiful traditional style one where me and the other American student slept on futons. I felt like I was at home, and shared every breakfast and dinner with the couple. They also took us to play golf, as well as to see the father's boy scout troop.

* Food:

Delicious, try all you can.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The arranged Kamakura and Yamanashi trips were both a lot of fun. Kamakura moreso because we were guided by the local college students.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Very safe, no problems dealing with either health or 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)

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Use the dry room as opposed to the dryer.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Fourth Semester Japanese (Yookoso 2 Part 2)
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

We met some local college students with whom I went everywhere, all the while improving my conversation abilities. Because the class was not on the Meikai University campus as I expected but in the same complex as the dorm, I spent more time with my American friends during the weekdays. The other American students spoke English most all of the time.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Don't expect to become fluent, just have a lot of fun.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Japanese In Context 300

Course Department:
Instructor: Yuki Ozeki
Instruction Language: Japanese
Comments: I had taken two years of Japanese prior to this, so the class wasn't all too challenging. For some students, the amount of Kanji/vocabulary quizes we had was a bit high. We took a field trip to a disaster prevention center in nearby Ikebukuro as well as a high school another one to a high school. Both field trips were fun and provided good chances to speak to locals. The professor was well prepared, infinitely encouraging, and quite funny. With a class size of 10, I was able to participate/practice more than normally allowed here at my home university.
Credit Transfer Issues: