Past Review

By (Geography and Chinese-Japanese Studies, Valparaiso University) for

ISEP Exchange: Hirakata - Exchange Program at Kansai Gaidai University

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Its most definitely worth-while, Ive gained a new cultural perspective and loads of new relationships. I truly enjoy Kansai Gaidai more than my home University.

Personal Information

If you took classes at multiple universities, list those universities here: Valparaiso University
The term and year this program took place: Fall 2009

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The academics were intriguing and engaging, I would like to say I loved the academics

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The administration was helpful and very efficiently Japanese.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The housing is a two level dormitory, the rooms are traditional Japanese style with futons and tatami mats. The bathroom placement in the house is horrible though. <br /><br /> I speak too much English in my dorm, I don't believe this housing promotes a true Japanese atmosphere. The facilities inside the housing are female-favored.

* Food:

Food is real expensive here, the portions are small, and a lot of times there's not a large variety.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

This is one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Japan is way safer than America, except when it comes to flashers.

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? I probably spend close to 14$ a day on food and then with additional expenses the weekly total comes close to 135$. You got to have money to live here or expect to spend all that you have to sustain your life haha.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Just know that food and transportation are the biggest money eaters, outside of that if you look to travel and indulge in excitement the amount of what you'll pay depends on what you do and where you'll go.


How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
Language acquisition improvement?

I learned a lot of Japanese, but I still spoke plenty of English. I will be more diligent with Japanese next semester.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* 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? Just come, I guarantee there is no way you will dislike it here if you have an interest in Japan, mark these words.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Pacific Rivarly

Course Department: CIE course
Instructor: Paul Scott
Instruction Language: English
Comments: The class was view-broadening and extremely interesting.
Credit Transfer Issues: