The best scare of my life Past Review

By (Berea College) - abroad from 05/27/2016 to 06/26/2016 with

KIIS: Traveling - Experience Japan (Summer)

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot more Japanese language skills, social skills, and I figured out about where I want to live in Japan. I learned some of what to expect and that I can eat the food without having to worry too much about my allergies!

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.

Because we were trying to complete a semester's worth of work in one month, the courses were challenging and there was a lot of homework. However, I feel like I learned more Japanese in one month than I did in two years.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The program director was willing to take my unique circumstances into consideration and was happy to let me choose my own roommate.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

It was hard to feel completely integrated, but I'm also awkward and I stood out as a foreigner.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I did not need to see a doctor while I was abroad, but a friend needed to and they experienced excellent care.

* Safety:

Traffic is treated very differently and you have to be VERY careful when crossing the road, even at an intersection. NEVER J-walk! It will only end poorly! Also, watch out for bikes. Bicyclists will run you over if you aren't careful, though they make a point of riding in the road if the sidewalks are too crowded.

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

This was a simple program and I knew one of the professors already. The program director was really friendly and helpful and I was able to communicate with her easily. The program itself was small enough that I didn't feel completely overwhelmed and it was guided, which I needed.


* 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)

Living in Japan (at least for a month) is actually not that expensive! Box lunches and convenience store food is surprisingly cheap and I was able to feed myself for about $10/day. Just don't eat out too much and try not to buy every stuffed animal you see (key chains and charms make excellent and inexpensive mementos!).

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? About $70-80
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Don't eat out every day. Save most of your gift-buying for near the end of the trip, unless you know you won't be able to return to a select location/event. Try to set and keep within a daily budget (I had a daily budget of about $20 which worked out great).


* 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

We were encouraged to speak Japanese every day. Some events required us to speak at least minimal 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? Japanese 102
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? If you have a host family, try to speak with them and get their help and input. When eating out, try to order in the host language. In Japan, a lot of people wanted to speak English with me. Sometimes I would reply in Japanese, which helped.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • International Students
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?
  • Classes
  • Seeing the temples
  • My host family
* What could be improved?
  • Longer stay with the host family?
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? You will get bombarded by people who want to speak English. Also, a lot of kids are really shy, but if you wave or say "Hi" they get super excited. Also, talk to the monks. They're nice and are usually happy to tell you about their religion and its history.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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The Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.