Eat Everything, Miss Nothing Past Review

By (Japanese, The University of Texas at Austin) - abroad from 04/01/2015 to 07/29/2015 with

Sophia University: Tokyo - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained not only a huge leap in my understanding of the Japanese language but also a chance to meet new people, Japanese, American, or otherwise, and to understand Japanese culture and, to some extent, the Japanese way of thinking. I saw things I have never seen and would love to see again.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I have never learned so much in such a short amount of time. For those studying Japanese in the Liberal Arts department of Sophia I would strongly recommend the intensive program. While it is difficult, it will strengthen your knowledge of the Japanese language like no other program in the department.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I lived in a boys' dormitory called Wakeijuku. It is located near Ikebukuro in the Mejirodai neighborhood, only four stops from the station near Sophia. This dormitory was the most culturally and linguistically enriching portion of my study abroad. I was included in all dorm activities and made many friends among my dorm-mates. For all males applying to this program, I heavily recommend this dormitory.

* Food:

As expected, the food was fantastic. The food in my dormitory was of great quality for cafeteria food- though many of my Japanese dorm-mates often complained. However, I should think that their standards for Japanese food would, as expected, be above mine.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had no issues but I was enrolled in the national health insurance and I am sure that any problems would have been addressed adequately.

* Safety:

Tokyo is, overall, a very safe city. However, it is always a good idea to know where you are and who you are with. Never go someplace by yourself if you're really unsure of the area.

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)

Tokyo is expensive, but if you can form good habits then you should be ok financially.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $50-75
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Have a good idea of how you are going to eat regularly. Campus lunches are quite cheap. Food is the biggest issue when it comes to money in Tokyo.


* 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? JPN 611D
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? Live/interact with Japanese students/friends/shop owners/policemen/people on a very regular basis. Speaking to everyone will help you learn. Travel, meet people, tell them about your plans and listen to theirs. Meeting people is the best way to learn.

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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Food
  • The language itself
  • Festivals
* What could be improved?
  • Course advising
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I had known about places outside of Tokyo that I could visit on a weekend. Instead of staying at home for weekends I would have traveled outside of the city.

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!

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Intensive Japanese 2

Course Department: Faculty of Liberal Arts
Instructor: Sakata Reiko, Kobayashi Koji
Instruction Language: Japanese
Comments: While extremely challenging this course was extremely enriching. The instructors were always well-prepared and knew how to teach Japanese to foreign students. We were assessed through a large variety of assignments, including regular homework assignments, quizzes, presentations, oral exams, written tests, and essays.
Credit Transfer Issues: