The best decision I ever made! February 03, 2018

By (University of North Texas) - abroad from 08/03/2018 to 08/12/2018 with

The GREEN Program: Japan - Disaster Mitigation and Nuclear to Renewable Transitions

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I have always been quiet and timid, but when you're dropped into a foreign country with 12 strangers you might find yourself opening up a little bit! I learned to open up and socialize a lot better. At the end of the trip I was still relatively quiet, but I gained some friendships that I will hold onto forever. Also, the Japanese people were so considerate and kind! Being around that, even for a short amount of time, gave me the desire to have that impact on other people back home. The Japan trip with The Green Program changed my life. It's my goal to impact someone's life as positively as The Green Program impacted mine!

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 instructors and tour guides were incredibly insightful! We had lectures that ranged from the traditional-university-style to a hands-on-laboratory approach.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

For most of trip, we stayed in a Ryokan. The staff far exceeded my expectations! One day we went hiking and everyone came back with muddy shoes. As we always did in Japan, we left our shoes at the front door and wore slippers instead. The next morning, everyone's shoes were cleaned spotless. They were so considerate of our desires that they went beyond their responsibilities as hosts to ensure we were all comfortable during our stay.

* Food:

We had a lot of opportunities to get fresh, authentic Japanese food! I tried strange foods like smoked eggs and octopus balls, but I was never disappointed in the quality.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

We had many opportunities to embrace the culture! We attended a traditional Japanese Summer firework festival, local street festivals, an aquarium, museums, and a town that was preserved since the Meiji period (approximately 1868 to 1912).

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I did not have any safety problems in Japan!

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

I almost didn't attend the Japan trip with the Green Program. I was taking a class at my local university and had to leave a week before Summer finals; I asked my professor if he could accommodate me, but he said it wasn't possible. To make a long story short, I ended up withdrawing from the class at my University and flying to Japan. It was the best decision I ever made.

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)

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Plan ahead and get your currency exchanged at your bank-- not at the airport!

Language

* 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? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
How many hours per day did you use the language? 0

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Hotel
  • Hostel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
  • Other
* 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? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • People
  • Food
  • Hikes/Tours
* What could be improved?
  • Karaoke shouldn't have been on day 2!
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? This was my first time abroad. That being said, if this is yours... It will be awkward at first; however, you should know that by the end of the trip, you will develop friendships that will last through eternity!

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 Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.