I experienced Japan through community August 30, 2023

By (Education, Wellesley College) - abroad from 08/24/2022 to 06/26/2023 with

Middlebury Schools Abroad: Middlebury in Tokyo

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained more than I think I can realize in this moment. I gained a strong sense of who I am and what I want, I gained a strong sense of Japanese cultural values and knowledge (which are vastly different from the American/French values I originally held), and I got to experience cutting edge technological/social/agricultural methods of positive social change that I never would have seen in America.

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.

The courses at ICU were phenomenal! So interesting and not too much work.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The Middlebury staff were very kind and helpful when approached!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Ginkgo Dormitory is SO nice! And the residents are kind as well!

* Food:

The dining hall doesn't have a set vegetarian option.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt integrated through my club activities and my internship experience throughout the year.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Wellesley college's health care (Int. SOS) was super great at finding coverage and responding.

* Safety:

I always felt safe in Tokyo.

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

The Middlebury program and its very hands-off way of managing the students was challenging. But, because I was lacking a lot of support, I got involved with clubs, community centers, churches, etc. that I may not have sought out otherwise.


* 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)

Since I was grocery shopping for myself, food was low in cost, but the transportation in Tokyo gets expensive if you use it a lot!

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Ask your dorm (parents) if there is a bike you can borrow, instead of going out and buying your own.


* 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? Equivalent of Wellesley College's JPN 232
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? Make sure you are in a Japanese language course at ICU, make friends in your dorm, go out sightseeing/traveling, find an internship, get involved in a club, go to church in Tokyo, etc.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local 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 teachers
  • The trips
  • The dorms
* What could be improved?
  • Helping students support one another
  • Resource guide for Mitaka
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Have a physical suica and one on your phone.

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!