amazing country, look for opportunities to make local friends! February 06, 2019

By (International Politics and Economics, Middlebury College) - abroad from 08/21/2018 to 11/21/2018 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Tokyo

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Japan is great! I improved my Japanese and even made some local friends. The food is good, but be careful with spending.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Responsible, caring faculty. The trips were useful and interesting but a little too busy.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I enjoyed getting to know other international students but hoped to live with Japanese peers.

* Food:

no kitchen but the food was good quality and pretty affordable

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Living in an international dorm made it a little hard to meet Japanese peers

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I didn't use it but it seemed to be well equipped to address students' physical and emotional needs.

* Safety:

I felt safe but heard about multiple instances of assault from my international peers.

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

I would choose the program because it is through my school.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? 100-150 USD per week
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Go to Don Kihote for discount food, or to the grocery store in the basement of the shopping center near Musashisakai Station a half hour before closing time (mark down items). There's no kitchen so unfortunately you can't really cook, but you could use the electric kettle to boil eggs and ramen.

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
* 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
  • food
  • places
* What could be improved?
  • provide cooking space/kitchen
  • change housing to be with local students
  • more free time on field trips
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had had an idea of reasonable prices.

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 Networker
An active student leader, it was important for you to network abroad as well. Once overseas, you sought out student clubs, volunteered with local organizations, or attended community events. You encouraged your friends join you, and often considered how you could reflect your international experiences in a resume.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Economic Outlines of Geography

Course Department: Economics
Instructor: Professor Koganezawa
Instruction Language: Japanese
Comments: 3.5-4 hour lecture once per week. Lecture follows chronology of a compact 200 page textbook. Little discussion. One two-page single-spaced paper per week. High time commitment and dependence on strong literacy or listening comprehension. Straightforward but time consuming. One-hour final exam (open-note). ** The instructor is an adjunct professor, so no office or office hours. Be prepared to ask questions in person after class, or over email.
Credit Transfer Issues: No issues. I received transfer economics elective credit for the IPE major.