A fun experience that strangely put me on the right career path Past Review

By (International Relations And Global Studies, The University of Texas at Austin) - abroad from 09/27/2011 to 07/30/2012 with

Sophia University: Tokyo - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Extremely worthwhile, I recommend it but not only to those who don't mind being thrown completely out of their comfort zone. I learned Japanese, received job offers for the future and made great friends. I'll definitely be back soon.

Review Photos

Direct Enrollment: Tokyo - Sophia University Photo Direct Enrollment: Tokyo - Sophia University Photo Direct Enrollment: Tokyo - Sophia University Photo

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

Not wel-organized.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The person in charge or the 'dorm mother' was very strict and often talked ill of and fought with many of the students living there. Also there was no attempts at integration between Japanese and foreign exchange students.

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Japan is probably the safest country I have ever visited. I never felt threatened or worried in any situation.

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


* 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)

* Was housing included in your program cost? No
* Was food included in your program cost? No
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $200
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Cook your own food and do not eat out every day, and don't buy sodas at every vending machine you see.


* 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? Beginner
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 Intermediate Level course
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? Avoid making too many friends from your home country or that speak English. Make Japanese friends!

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Exchange

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • 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? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Universities location
  • International students
  • Tokyo
* What could be improved?
  • Expand the living options or educate students with resources to find their own housing
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? It's very difficult to find wireless in Japan. Also, there are a lot of people who speak English in Tokyo/Sophia University so it was hard not speak English.