That was fun November 09, 2017

By (Wellesley College) - abroad from 03/14/2017 to 11/26/2017 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Tokyo

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Language aside, I got to really explore Japanese culture, and it was definitely worthwhile. I made one friend in particular who I am still in contact often with so that alone was worth it for me. I also got to travel around a lot and make lots of memories with amazing people.

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

Eda-sensei and Matsui-sensei were really nice! We had a fun dynamic going on, and I never felt they were unapproachable, nor did I feel they didn't know what they were doing.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

We lived as kings: Dialogue house it pretty much like living in a hotel room: down side: no stoves its all microwave and boiling water from a kettle.

* Food:

Good and cheap,

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

People are so accepting of you. I made lifelong friends and felt welcomed in clubs.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

It's better in Japan than in the U.S. and cheaper too

* Safety:

A million times safer than in the U.S. The only time I felt for my safety was when riding my bike at night in streets, and that was only because I didn't want to get hit by a car.

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

ICU offered a unique experience to completely immerse in school activities, clubs, classes, and campus life in general. It had a really strong language program, and the support network offered by Middlebury was great. the Language pledge really challenged me, in a good way, as well.

Finances

* 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 personally failed at budgeting when it came to exploring Tokyo, as transportation eats your wallet up.

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? Make a budget and be aware of what you are spending: save when you can: grocery stores for food, transportation foreigner discounts, etc.

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
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? 232: high intermediate
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Practice practice practice. Honestly, if you are going to ICU, it is imperative that you practice kanji the most.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local 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?
  • The people
  • the classes
  • the city
* What could be improved?
  • pre-departure information
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wished I would have brushed up on my Japanese (Kanji) before going to Japan, as the language pledge really affected me the first two weeks there.