Study Abroad at Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University Past Review

By (Japanese Language and Literature., University of Hawaii - Manoa) for

Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University: Beppu - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Yes, I improved my speaking and listening skills so much. I also gained several friends that I still keep in contact with. The experience itself was very fun and worthwhile and provided great language experience for the future and good cultural learning.

Personal Information

The term and year this program took place: Spring 2009

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The English based courses actually had the exact same feel as my home university, and seemed to be equivalent in quality.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I stayed at the AP house dorms. They are excellent and brand new facilities. Each international student has the option of rooming with a native speaker. Rooms allow for internet, phone calls, and comes equipped with a mini fridge. The kitchens are always close by on every floor, and meal times cooking together is a great way to socialize with others and make friends.

* Food:

I mostly cooked my own food from groceries I bought at a local grocer. Other times I ate out at restaurants.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

In my case I made many friends right away, most of them native speaking Japanese, others were from other East Asian countries such as Korea, China, Thailand, and Indonesia. In this way we all practiced speaking Japanese with each other, and learned much about many different cultures in addition to Japanese. There were many opportunities to join in Ice Breaking activities to get to know other dormees.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Everything about my stay was very safe. The administration are took great to make sure students are safe and took precautions to make sure they know where you are if traveling far in case of emergencies. Also during the Swine Flu cases in Japan, the Dorm staff distributed flu masks and disinfectant gargle to all the students.

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)


Language acquisition improvement?

My speaking and listening skills in Japanese improved greatly in the short 4 months I stayed there. I was constantly utilizing my Japanese language skills everyday and was able to have normal conversations with native speakers by the end of my stay. Definitely worth staying at the dorms, as the environment around other students helped greatly with motivations and learning immersion.

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Be outgoing and friendly, and willing to try and do everything. I was able to make friends and good memories by just being involved and having fun with everyone, especially during ice breaking activities and while cooking food together with everyone. I saw many other exchange students who spent most of their time alone in rooms and never really spoke to native speakers or make friends. It's important to get to know people quickly as soon as you get there.