The best experience a girl could ask for! Past Review

By (Berea College) - abroad from 05/28/2016 to 06/27/2016 with

KIIS: Traveling - Experience Japan (Summer)

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was definitely worthwhile! I gained so much! I feel as though I am better able to analyze my own culture now that I have experienced another's.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The amount of work we were expected to do was consistant with that of my home university. The reason I removed a half of a star was due to the fact that the resources (i.e. the book we used) was slightly outdated. However, it should be noted that the course was a culture course and that textbooks often become outdated quickly.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

During our homestay the program tried their best to match us with families that were the best fit for us.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

We had plenty of opportunities to experience the culture and to interact with the local people. However, sometimes on group excursions I felt as though we were isolated and people were intimidated to interact with us because we were such a large group.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I felt very safe while abroad, even at night. While there were no incidents or concerns while abroad, I would recommend carrying a map of some sort with you (because of the language barrier having a map could help in interactions and getting directions from foreign language speaking people) and always travel with a buddy (not only will you be safer from unsavory characters but you also will have another person to help remember your way around the town and to help with asking directions).

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

KIIS packed in a whole lot of learning and experiences into a short few weeks that I don't believe any other program could have done. The students and professors became very tightknit and I feel as though we have bonded into a family!


* 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)

I was able to spend a total of $600 while abroad and a majority of that was spent on souvenirs. I was able to eat on about $4 for lunch and breakfast and about $11 for dinner. The program usually either provided breakfast or gave me money to spend for breakfast, and they gave me an allowance for dinner as well. Your best friend while in Japan is the convenience stores which sell healthy (and tasty) pre-made foods for cheap.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Roughly $35-$70
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Don't just stop at the first place you see that looks good, often the cheaper restaurants are a street over off of the tourist streets.Dinners from 7/11 are also tasty and usually very cheap!


* 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

You used the language very frequently. Most times you would hear it more than speak it, so my listening skills have improved drastically!

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? I have had two years of Japanese Language study
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? Make sure to brush up on vocabulary (especially verbs)! I recommend listening to japanese as much as possible and maybe trying to repeat a few phrases. It is also a good idea to learn a few kanji that you expect to see on a daily basis (for example, the kanji for restroom or man or woman, etc).

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • Hotel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • the professors actually cared about our well being and our adjusting to another country
  • the imersion into another culture
  • the bonds and ties that I forged throughout the program
* What could be improved?
  • the counting off system(to know that we are all there; it was often too loud to be able to hear everyone)
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? If flying is the part that you are afraid of (or that's holding you back), it isn't anything to be afraid of. I wanted to study abroad a couple years ago but I had never flown before and it took until this past summer to get up the courage to go through with this. I was very nervous but a 13 hour flight has a way of getting the nerves out of you! Flying feels like driving and it isn't anything that should be holding you back from something you want to do.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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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!