Attending JCMU was the best descision I have made April 29, 2018

By (Albion College) - abroad from 09/04/2018 to 04/20/2018 with

JCMU Japan Center: Intensive Japanese Language & Culture

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was completely worthwhile. I have made friends quicker in this program than before. I learned a lot about living on my own, as well as in a community.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The language courses are very intensive and require a lot of effort, but are so worth the time and energy.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I was able to be placed in housing that met my needs.

* Food:

JCMU doesn't have a board program, so you have to be prepared to buy and make your own meals. Coco's is on campus but can be pricey, and 7-11 is just down the road for when you need something quick to eat.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

JCMU is on the outskirts of town, however there are weekly programs for locals to attend.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

As part of the JCMU tuition you also get Japanese health insurance. This insurance is amazing and will cover pretty much anything, and anything not covered is completely affordable. I was able to have extensive testing done and only paid $98USD for everything. If you also register with GeoBlue you can get that money back. No vaccines are necessary, but flu shots are recommended.

* Safety:

I have never in my life felt safer than when I was at JCMU and in Japan.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

Hikone is a small town that isn't too busy, which allows for you to be immersed in Japanese culture and language. It is a beautiful location. The professors and office staff at JCMU want you to succeed, and will do their best to help you get to where you need to be.


* 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 you know how to budget and prepare your own meals you will not have any problems.

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? If you are someone that likes to buy lots of gifts, then you will need to bring extra money for that.


* 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

Speaking English during the Japanese language classes is not allowed, only for questions that you are unable to ask in Japanese.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Genki 1
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? Knowing how to navigate the Genki website will help, as well as studying in groups.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

  • Americans

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Community
  • Food
* What could be improved?
  • Having more breaks
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I kind of wish I knew how to prepare more food. I also recommend at least being familiar with Hirigana and Katakana.

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!