Never again Past Review

By (Media and Communication, University of Brunei Darussalam) - abroad from 04/09/2015 to 07/31/2015 with

Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University: Beppu - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned to love Japan. I learned to hate Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University.

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.

If you want to be academically stimulated, do not go to this school. The lecturers seem to not know what they're doing. The class size is too big for the lecturers to handle. APU is basically a social scene, not an academic institution.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Their main goal is to get you to Japan and attend APU. By the time you arrive, they don't really care about your existence.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Exchange students were forced to live in a third party dorm ran by Jasso. Although I like the living environment, I do hate the commute. You have to shell out an extraordinary amount of money on bus tickets and you have to grit through 40 minutes of bus ride up a mountain to go to school -- and yes, your ears will pop on the way up and down.

* Food:

Just regular Japanese food. Nothing special.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I learned about the Japanese culture by living in Japan. APU is an international uni that emphasised on the "internationality" of their school (seriously, the speech they gave us probably had the word "international" mentioned in it more than 50 times), so the school is useless in this area.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Beppu is quite a safe place to live in.

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


* 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)

Living in Beppu is both cheap and expensive. Cheap because the accommodation cost is lower than what you would find in places such as Tokyo and Kyoto, expensive because ingredients are hard to import so the prices of food tend to fluctuate.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Around US100
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Check out all supermarkets before you decide to do all your grocery shopping. Don't eat out too much because eating out is very expensive in Japan. I do urge anyone who's planning on studying in Japan (not APU, never APU) to apply for JASSO scholarship.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

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

  • 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?
  • The friends I made.
* What could be improved?
  • Lecturers
  • Courses
  • Living arrangement
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? The fact that the amount we paid in advance for dorm did not include utility bills. The fact that we had to pay for transportation ourselves (even though we were forced to live somewhere downtown). The fact that I shouldn't have gone to APU if I wanted good education.

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!