One of the Best Month in My Life August 19, 2023

By (None, Westmoor High School) - abroad from 07/07/2023 to 08/02/2023 with

The Experiment: Japan: Japanese Language & Culture

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained long-term friends and family. I learned Japanese. And, it was definitely worth my time and money.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

I didn't learn as much Japanese as I would like and they ran out of the updated textbooks. So, I had to use the older version of the textbook, which caused some confusion because there were aspects that didn't match the updated textbook. I learned a lot about Japanese culture. I tried different foods, experienced the convenience stores, transportation, school, and gained a family.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The leaders were there to support you if there was any problem. The In-Country Leader was in charge of leading/guiding us throughout the country.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

At the first hostel, we got to share rooms and bond with each other. The hostel provided breakfast and dinner. It was a buffet style and the food was really good. There was a public bath and individual showers and shared changing room. They also provided a LGBTQ+ shower area, with private changing rooms and showers. There is a lounge area where you can hang out with your group and everything that you need can be provided at the front desk. At the second hostel, the conditions of the hostel wasn't too bad, but it was the most ideal. There were bugs inside the building, and and the single rooms were very narrow and small. The distance you had to walk between facilities were inconvenient. Some rooms smelled funny and they gave room with windows that were out of order. Most times the food was cold, and didn't taste good. The food provided was edible.

* Food:

Besides the second hostel's food and the bento boxes that were provided to us by the program, I have no complaints about the all the other food. The convenience store food was super good and the restaurants and cafe I went to made me want second servings even though I was full. Most meals were stipends of 800 yen, so we could buy whatever we wanted to eat.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I was definitely immersed in the culture. I tried to used my very limited Japanese as much as possible, and explored and lived in every moment of my stay there.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Health issues were addressed really well during the program. The leaders provided medication, sanitary pads, tampons, etc. If the leaders didn't have something they would go out to buy it. They always carried a first aid kit.

* Safety:

The host city was super safe. We had no problem walking around in the dark (around 9-10 pm).

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

I loved the program because they were available to answer any questions before and after the trip and they give many different opportunities for those who want to travel, but can't financially do so.


* 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)

Things in Japan were cheap and accessible. I had no problem with money during my trip.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? For lunch and dinner, which were mainly stipends provided by the program, I spent about 800-900 yen per meal. I probably spent 2000 yen one toiletries. But, for necessities and food that would be all.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? I'm not good at saving-money, but if you buy items such as clothing then you should consider if you will be wearing it back home too because if you don't and it sits in your closet back home then I would say it is a waste of money. This applies to any item that aren't necessities.


* 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

We had homework for our classes where we were encouraged to talk to people in Japanese during our excursions.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? nothing
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? Having someone to help you practice the language is definitely helpful and motivating.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • Hostel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • 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?
  • I liked how much freedom I had to explore and experience things first-hand.
  • I liked hanging out with my friends and family.
  • I liked shopping and karaoke.
* What could be improved?
  • The program would be better if it was at least a month.
  • I would've like to live with my host family for longer.
  • that's all
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I should have brought more toothpaste and mouthwash.

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 Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.