持続可能な信頼関係 January 04, 2019

By (Wellesley College) - abroad from 08/21/2018 to 11/30/2018 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Tokyo

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
We had lots of traditional Japanese experiences that we definitely would not have had on any other program. For example, we cut rice and wood, got to experience classes with middle schoolers, and went to public baths. It took some effort and was a little nerve wracking at first, but I made lots of friends at well, both locally and internationally.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

A highly-structured program with great faculty. The academic rigor at ICU was less intensive than at elite liberal arts colleges, which could serve as an advantage or a disadvantage, but overall the courses offered were informative. The staff were always eager to help students and there were plenty of resources available to those who needed help with financial issues, housing logistics, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I think this is probably the biggest complaint about the program. I had one of two singles in the international dorm, Dialogue House, which is basically English-speaking students only. This can pose a problem obviously to those who want to be immersed in Japanese. I think I found it less bothersome in my case because I didn’t have to interact with a roommate and could just immerse myself in Japanese homework/books if I wanted to. However, I enjoyed the DH community and the amenities provided (fridge, microwave, private BR, etc.). it might be good to request another dorm if you’re seeking to completely immerse yourself, but again, I didn’t feel it a big problem.

* Food:

Japan has amazing food. Only complaint is it’s expensice.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Because of my dorming situation, I felt more integrated with the international students than with Japanese students. However, I did meet people through clubs and events. Do these things as much as possible!! You can definitely make friends through class but it takes more of an effort.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

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

I made a lot of friends and actually learned a lot more Japanese than I realized. And even though Mitaka is far from central Tokyo, I found it a nice getaway from the buzz of metropolitan life that was also still close enough if you wanted to go out.

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)

Tokyo is very expensive and transportation is a wreck on your wallet. I lived off of combini meals and eat less than most people so food wasn’t a big issue for me personally, but for others it is. Try to make friends in the other dorms that have access to kitchens, or learn how to cook rice and other foods in the microwave.

Language

* 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? Intermediate
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Japanese 202
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 in Dialogue House, attend events/go to clubs!!

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* 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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Friends
  • Experiences
  • Food
* What could be improved?
  • Language Immersion
  • Food (Expensive)
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I went to more events before to meet even more Japanese people. I actually found they were the best way to make local friends.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'