The good and the bad of my time in Japan March 13, 2019

By (Film, Video, Photographic Arts, Middlebury College) - abroad from 08/25/2018 to 11/11/2018 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Tokyo

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
The best part about this program was exploring the county's culture. Its amazing how different things are (and how clean). It definitely made it worth going, if only slightly.

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.

Being in Japan was fun but I didn't learn much that i could take with me

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

They were all extremely nice.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

cafeteria food was largely disappointing. Luckily there was an amazing ramen place nearby

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

part time job definitely helped me integrate

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I suppose I never did find out where the nurse was on campus.

* Safety:

I left my backpack on a crowded train and got it back untouched the next day

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

The school wasn't in the best location, not did it teach the best things. I'd probably have preffered to use a program that allowed english speaking for more worthwhile classes.


* 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)


* 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 had to

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 200
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? Immersion is great, if you're up for it.

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
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?
  • Cultural exploration
  • work experience
  • the social scene
* What could be improved?
  • The academics
  • the food
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I should not have chosen to be in level 5 japanese. Also, I wish I properly knew how to make the most of the school's location, which was kind of far from most major areas.

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 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.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Japanese 5

Course Department: Japanese
Instruction Language: Japanese
Comments: Honestly, i should have been in a lower level and that's my fault. It did teach me the most out of all the classes, though.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Reflective Writing:ePortfolio

Course Department: Japanese
Instructor: Arakaki Sensei
Instruction Language: Japanese
Comments: I'm not one for journaling in general so this area of the program didn't have any real effect on my experience. Not to say it was bad, I just didn't take much value out of it.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Community engagement

Course Department: japanese
Instructor: Eda Sensei
Instruction Language: Japanese
Comments: Definitely the most rewarding part of the abroad experience. getting a chance to work at a Japanese restaurant was extremely nerve-wracking, but all the employees were super nice and it was definitely the thing that improved my Japanese skills the most.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Cultural Portfolio:Exploration

Course Department: Japanese
Instructor: Eda Sensei
Instruction Language: Japanese
Comments: Eda sensei tried her best to make the material interesting but I often questioned whether what we were learning had any merit. The field trips were fun when we just exploring and meeting other Japanese students, but got bogged down by excessive talk about inane topics like how wood is processed and burned.
Credit Transfer Issues:
Course Name/Rating:

Peace and Human rights

Course Department: Sociology
Instructor: Chiba sensei
Instruction Language: Japanese
Comments: I could not understand a single word spoken in this class. I highly recommend that future instances of this program do not require classes fully taught in Japanese because most every Middlebury student in that class could not decipher even a small amount of the lecture. That being said, the final was extremely easy, so I got lucky with my class choice.
Credit Transfer Issues: