The best experience of my life so far... Past Review

By (University of Pretoria) - abroad from 08/18/2018 to 11/10/2018 with

The Intern Group: Tokyo Internship Placement Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My experience was definitely worthwhile. I learned a lot personally and although I wish I had learned more professionally I would still come back. I learned to live in an environment were you know nothing about or no one. It is scary at the beginning but it is worth it when you get used to the culture and how to behave socially. I am from Africa so I can say that the Japanese society is totally opposite of mine. If it wasn’t for the shared house environment I think it would have been hard for me to socialize and make friends. In my opinion, the shared house environment is the best for students/interns going abroad for a short period of time.

Review Photos

The Intern Group: Tokyo Internship Placement Program Photo The Intern Group: Tokyo Internship Placement Program Photo The Intern Group: Tokyo Internship Placement Program Photo The Intern Group: Tokyo Internship Placement Program Photo The Intern Group: Tokyo Internship Placement Program Photo

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 was placed in sales job which had nothing to do with what I expected. I took the job because it was my only offer. I choose Entrepreneurship because I was advise to not pick engineering as I dont speak Japanese. However, I still think that my background could have been taken into account when finding an internship for me. I’m grateful for the experience but it wasn’t what I was promised.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The coordinators of the program worked hard to be there for the interns whenever needed. I felt like I could call them with any question I had. They ensured our safety while taking us to explore Tokyo and its culture.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The rooms were spacious and clean. Everything worked. The common areas were spacious, enjoyable, and most of the times quiet.

* Food:

I loved the food. It was delicious, full of flavor and more than what I expect it to be. However, I wasn’t a fan of the traditional desserts.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I identified a lot of with the local culture. I agree with most of the social rules but what I realized is that is hard to make friends as a foreigner in the Japanese society if you don’t live in a shared house/apartment. If I were to stay alone, I think I wouldn’t have met so many people.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had no issues with healthcare, thus, I cannot rate this section personally. However, I know one intern that had to be taken to the hospital and this intern was accompanied by one of the coordinators as soon as they could. No vaccines were needed for this program.

* Safety:

One of the safest places I have ever been to. I would walk home after work at night and it was completely safe. In the 3 months I was there I never felt threatened or unsafe.

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

I loved getting to know Japan, its culture and its people. Since I know more about it, I would be able to enjoy it more and get around without being affraid of getting lost. I miss the food so I would definitely go back.


* 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)

I had a budget of $140 per week and I would finish the week with a little bit less than half of the budget left. It is very affordable if you go to the right places with cheap but good food.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I had a budget of $140 but I would spend about $80 for food and other expenser per week.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Cook for yourself instead of buying at a restaurant all the time, it saves a lot of money. Compare the food prices at different supermarkets and try to see which one you like best. Make a budget per week that you know you can afford and always try to save money for the weekend. Don’t overspend at the begginning of the program, leave the souvenirs for the last 2 weeks or so.


* 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

I worked in a Japanese company thus I was encouraged to try to speak the language all the time. At home, since all interns were foreigners, we spoke english most of the time but still tried to learn from the other residents that were Japanese.

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 don’t understand the question as I didn’t do a language course in Japan.
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? Try to get started before the program, learning the alphabets and simple phrases. Get some cultural lessons if possible as well.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
  • Other
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
  • Other
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Other
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?
  • The cultural immersion (trips, festivals, workshops, events)
  • The food!
  • The living environment (shared house)
* What could be improved?
  • The work allocation
  • More language learning
  • More professional workshops
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew that: you can get by with only English but to fully enjoy the program you must know a little bit of Japanese. It was hard to buy groceries or household products because the labels are all in Japanese. It’s only normal but it can get hard for foreigner to get the best products available. Or some menus are only in Japanese.

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.