Japan Past Review

By (Japanese, San Jose State University) for

ISEP Exchange: Nagoya - Exchange Program at Nanzan University

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My semester in Japan was incredibly challenging. I was homesick almost the whole time, and often felt lonely and lost. However, I had some great times as well and made friends with whom I am still in contact. Although it was difficult, I consider my time in Japan one of the best of my life and I would totally make the decision to go again. I would highly recommend studying abroad to any college student who is willing to step outside their comfort zone and take on an adventure.

Review Photos

ISEP: Nagoya - Nanzan University Photo

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.

The culture of our Japanese professors was very different from American professors. They were extremely strict about attendance and punctuality. School began with a bell ringing, and homework turned in after the bell finished ringing was considered "late." I mean this literally - as in, you turn your homework in 5 seconds after the bell rings, it's late and will be penalized. No exaggeration. I had no desire to slack off or be late to class, but the teachers' overbearing styles occasionally made us students feel like we were being treated like children.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Counselors were helpful and friendly, and were willing to speak English to explain important concepts.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My host family lived in a small town about one hour away from school by train. My room was large and well-furnished, and my host mother cooked healthy, tasty meals every night. I was treated with nothing but courtesy and warmth, as a special guest. My only complaint was the daily tantrums and shouting that went on between the family members. They did not hesitate to bicker with each other in front of me, and sometimes family dinners were very tense and unpleasant.

* Food:

My host mother cooked excellent dinners. The cafeteria on campus was adequate, and there were plenty of fast food places, restaurants and convenience stores near campus.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I really enjoyed the day trip to Guyo-Hachiman and Shirakawago, as well as the field trip to Nagoya Castle.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Although I often caught colds while studying abroad, I never required health care. Our program required us to purchase health insurance, and the school held a safety orientation at the beginning of the semester. I felt safe at all times.

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)


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

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? A student who is not afraid of challenges. Who likes to meet new people, try new food, experience new cultures. Someone who wants an adventure. Japan is not for the weak of heart.