A trip that gave me a forever connection to Japan August 14, 2023

By (Mathematics, Physics, Berea College) - abroad from 06/03/2023 to 07/03/2023 with

KIIS: Traveling - Experience Japan (Summer)

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I was able to gain knowledge from my courses and about Japan's cultures. Me and my host family often talked about the differences between Japan and America, which opened my mind to different lifestyles.

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 courses that I partook in allowed me to learn a great amount about each subject and Japan itself. The workload was a great size, as I was able to complete each assignment in a reasonable time.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I found that each hotel was a good and safe place to sleep every night. I also really enjoyed hosting with a family.

* Food:

I barely had any issue with finding food for a good price, however, there were some nights I had issues finding a fulfilling meal.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I learned a lot about the cultures of Japan by partaking in each excursion and staying with my host family. My week with my host family gave me a firsthand experience of the Japanese lifestyle.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I had no issues involving my safety on this trip. My advice is to always travel with another person and stay in lively areas.

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

I believe that KIIS designed the program in a fulfilling way, as we were able to get to many locations from the rural Nara to the urban Tokyo. I was able to visit many temples, shrines, and castles, which allowed for cultural immersion. Also, the host family program was truly an amazing experience.


* 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 found that prices in Japan were somewhat reasonable for a student's budget. Sometimes the price of food was a little high in certain areas and I bought many souvenirs. The US dollar is also greater than the yen so that helped keep prices lower.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Around $90 to $100
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I would advise future participants to buy the things that they want in each area but to also not use all of their money in the beginning.


* 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

English is very prominent in Japan, so it was easy to navigate without knowing any Japanese. The program's director did encourage us to use a little Japanese with our host families.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? I have never taken a Japanese language course
How many hours per day did you use the language? 0
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? I would advise everyone to learn simple Japanese phrases for the small interactions that they may have on a daily basis.

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?
  • Staying with my host family
  • Visiting the shrines and temples
  • The food
* What could be improved?
  • The amount of resting time
  • Number of excursions
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew about the Wifi box that could be purchased. I had to buy one after I arrived and it took a few days. It is very difficult to navigate Japan without a GPS.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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The Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.