Japan truly is the country of never ending energy, laughter, and smiles Past Review

By (Villanova University) - abroad from 02/06/2012 to 05/25/2012 with

Kansai Gaidai University: Hirakata - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
There are amazing people in this world only separated by circumstance. Definitely worthwhile.

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The host mom and dad of my seminar house were awesome. The RAs were very personable and the best friends I made there. There was one seminar house with a host mom and dad slightly more strict, but overall they do well in accommodating you.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Even if you speak perfect Japanese, there is a difference between a native nihonjin and the foreign gaijin, but one emphasized with kindness and understanding.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I was quarantined for 5 days when I had a fever. Also, hospitals close frequently and have very odd hours. Just don't get sick and wear a mask if you do.

* Safety:

You will find yourself using a bike for transportation thus most injuries will somehow relate to this.

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)

Japan is an expensive country and you can easily spend $200 a week if you are not careful

* Was housing included in your program cost? No
* Was food included in your program cost? No
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Around $200
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Save as much money as you can before you go whether it is multiple summer jobs or not spending as much the semester before. If you do run out of money; email your parents and beg. Getting a job is definitely inadvisable.


* 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

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? Intermediate level 2
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? Vocabulary was always my biggest weakness so I would speak to my friends and throw in new words to practice using them properly. I also had a speaking partner I only spoke to in the country's language for additional practice.

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Direct Enrollment

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
  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The people
  • The food
* What could be improved?
  • The internet speed
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Octopus is delicious

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Spiritual Journeys

Course Department:
Instructor: John Shultz
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Professor is excellent outside of class, however, class itself was very unstructured and his grading policies were strict based on an unknown rubric.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Onna to Otoko: Gender and Sexuality in Japan

Course Department: Sociology
Instructor: Jeff Hester
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Very dry professor and will give exams based that include even knowledge learned from his lectures so take notes, don't miss a class, and try to stay awake.
Credit Transfer Issues: