Great Experiences at Sophia Past Review

By (HISTORY., The University of Texas at Austin) - abroad from 09/30/2013 to 07/23/2014 with

Sophia University: Tokyo - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My experience at Sophia University was certainly worthwhile! The small campus atmosphere too away from my anxiety about being abroad in a country where I didn't speak the language. I made many friends from a variety of different countries and learned a lot about different cultures. Some things you just have to experience yourself to really learn about it. I was a little awkward with Japanese students,as my language skills were rather weak, so most of the Japanese friends I made were those who knew English and were very internationally oriented. The program made me feel very comfortable and I fell in love with Tokyo. I found studying abroad extremely worthwhile and I would love to do it again if I had the opportunity.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

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?

* Food:

The campus food is good but after a while it gets kind of tiring. Groceries are expensive but there are plenty of restaurants in the area so I never had to worry about having nothing to eat.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The general rule of thumb is the more Japanese you can speak the more easily accepted you are into the community. People generally left me alone and were kind and polite to me, so I never had any trouble.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I never had to deal with it personally, although registering for health insurance is very troublesome and difficult without some Japanese knowledge. However, my mother had health trouble while visiting me, leading to a trip to the emergency room. Fortunately the doctors and nurses all knew some English and everyone was helpful and straightforward.

* Safety:

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Tokyo is very expensive, and I easily ended up spending $80-$120 a week just on food and other needs.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Budgeting is crucial! Keep track of your money, and keep an eye on that exchange rate.


* 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? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? I completed all the courses up until the bridge course between UD and LD classes.
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? Talk to people and get as much practice as you can. Unless you talk to people and listen to the language you don't improve.

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

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local 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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Meeting students
  • The classes
  • The location of the school
* What could be improved?
  • The Japanese program itself is a little strange
  • Too much of the paperwork required being there in person, which is troublesome in the long-run
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I would've practiced my Japanese a little more to make it easier to make Japanese friends. Most of my friends ended up being English speakers due to my limited language skills.

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!