Japan: Great Experience! Past Review

By (Finance and Financial Management Services., University of Hawaii - Manoa) for

Sophia University: Tokyo - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned a lot personally and culturally. My experience forced me to become more culturally aware of others. I am so grateful to have had experienced such wonderful things.

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.

The workload was moderate, but quite challenging. Sophia University offers many other extra-curricular programs students can participate in. I would highly advise students to take that opportunity to make more friends and converse with other students. The teaching approach is a bit different than that of the United States. Attendance is very important in every class.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

My experience with the program provider was very successful and smooth. Any question or concern I had was answered very quickly. It was very reliable.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I arranged to stay with a family friend. My host father is originally from Hawaii, but his wife and sons are Japanese. They would help me with my Japanese, correcting me when needed. The neighborhood we lived in was very safe and quiet. It was a great place to live. I would commute about an hour everyday to Sophia University. My home location was very convenient.

* Food:

Sophia University provided students with a good amount of food for low prices. I was very surprised to learn how inexpensive school food was. A onigiri (musubi) would cost 100 yen, and curry rice would cost about 400 yen. Very cheap considering the portion size. One of my favorite restaurants was in World Porters in Sakuragichou. It was a shabu shabu all you can eat restaurant.

* 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

Finances

* 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

* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

Students are required to enroll in Japanese language classes. The exchange program highly recommends students to join extra-curricular "circles." I would converse with other students in my dance circle. About half of the students at Sophia University were fluent in English, or conversational.

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

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

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Other
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family