Past Review

By (Advertising., The University of Texas at Austin) for

Sophia University: Tokyo - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I wasn't sure if I wanted to work abroad before studying abroad, but now I am confident and my main goals for post-graduation are to try to work abroad.

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I set up my own home stay with a family of 5 plus one young child and a dog. It was a ton of fun and I'd say stay with a host family over in the dorms any day. Otherwise it is so easy to just speak English with all the other foreign exchange students! <br /><br /> My daily commute was 2 hours one way, including walking about two miles and riding a train for over an hour and a half. It was far, but this is fairly standard in Japan (at least 30 minutes for a commute). The neighborhood was extremely safe and I was more than comfortable walking home alone past midnight - and this is something I cannot say about the states. Since I lived with a host family I did not have to buy anything when I moved in, although I decided to buy a new pillow since the one they provided was not that comfortable. My host family was amazing and treated me as if I was one of their own!

* 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:

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)

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Japan is a society of consumerism. Be prepared to spend money even if you don't want to or think you can resist. There is always something to buy at your easiest convenience at all times. And, things are fairly expensive here. I would compare it to living in New York for the duration of your program.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Advanced
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? JPN 320L - Advanced Reading 2
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

I took the Intensive Language track to study Japanese and I'd highly recommend it to those who are dedicated and interested in learning, but would turn everyone else away. It was fairly difficult. Japan is a country where if you don't know Japanese it is pretty hard to get around. Most people do not speak very good English.

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

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Modern Fiction 2

Course Department: Lit 436
Instructor: Yiu
Instruction Language: English
Comments: Professor Yiu is an excellent professor and made it worth coming to class every week. She is funny, kind, and an exceptional lecturer. I'd highly recommend taking her class to anyone.
Credit Transfer Issues: I don't know yet.
Course Name/Rating:

Japanese Intensive Langage Program

Course Department: JPN 280
Instructor: Kobayashi, Hino, Koizumi, Fukada
Instruction Language: Japanese
Comments: This is a course with a high workload; it is necessary to dedicate at least an hour or two of studying outside of the three hours in class already spent studying Japanese. I learned a lot more than the regular course students though and I'm glad I decided to take this course. It is only for those truly interested in seriously learning the language, because it cuts into your social life a lot!
Credit Transfer Issues: I don't know yet.
Course Name/Rating:

Survey of Japanese Literature 2

Course Department: LIT 322
Instructor: Thompson
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This class covers a lot of pre-modern Japanese literature. The reading is a little excessive (especially for pre-modern works), but the professor is charming and easy to understand. The one downside of the class was the time of day - it was so late in the afternoon and often the last class most students had, so we were tired and did not feel like participating as much as if it had been an earlier class.
Credit Transfer Issues: I don't know yet.