Interesting Expierence in Japan Past Review

By (International Relations and Japanese, University of the Pacific) for

ISEP Exchange: Kyoto - Exchange Program at Ritsumeikan University

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I think that my study abroad experience has solidified what I want to do in the future.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The teaching methods in my host country were rather different than what I was used to. Especially the basis for grades which focused more on information from the required reading than on lecture. Also there was less contact with the professors since many classes were quite large. Overall it was a interesting experience.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The program had two native English speakers to help students with adjustments to their new lives, which made things very convenient. They were also very helpful in ironing out any problems that arose during my stay.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The housing arrangement was quite nice. I liked living in the dorm because I had my own room and could move about freely. It was also quite close to school which was nice. It was however slightly far from the main part of the city, but the cities transportation was easy to use. The one thing I didn't really like was that the dorm was also international students so it made using language difficult and also limited interaction between natives and myself.

* Food:

The dorm was close to a large supermarket and near some nice restaurant so accessing food was not too difficult.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

My city was known for its cultural events so there were so many I don't think I remember them all.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

At the beginning of the program we had three days of health and safety lectures by city officials that covered just about anything and everything that could possibly happen to you during your stay. So I felt incredibly safe.

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 spent at anywhere from $50-100 a week. Japan is a very expensive country, especially if you live in a city.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Health insurance for Japan is a national plan so students are required to pay into it. Its a good program however if you go through ISEP, your required to also pay their health insurance which is twice as much as Japan's and so you have to pay double insurance. I suggest students not go through ISEP which is a ripeoff.


* 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? Intermediate Japanese
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

I often practiced my language with my professors, classmates, and friends. It was quite necessary to speak the language in everyday settings as few people could speak English. However, living in an international dorm while convenient also discouraged language learning as most people reverted back to their native tongues.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
  • Local Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Know your program so you can prepare accordingly. Don't assume anything and be prepared for everything.