My Time in Japan - YIJ July 17, 2019

By (University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign) - abroad from 01/22/2017 to 05/18/2017 with

University of Illinois: Illinois Year-in-Japan Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I think it was very worthwhile. I was able to experience Japan and gain an appreciation for the culture that isn't attainable with other programs.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* 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

I was on the Year-in-Japan program in the Spring of 2017 and it was a huge part of my college experience as well as why I came to Japan after college on the JET Program. The program is a great way to experience Japan, make Japanese friends, and learn Japanese while also connecting with many other students from all over the world. For me, the homestay was my favorite part of the program. Living with a Japanese family was one of the most beneficial parts of the program. I was able to experience being part of a Japanese family firsthand and also was able to practice my Japanese 24/7. Furthermore, the program's location is great. Being in Kobe, one can access all of Kansai easily and can also head to Tokyo or Hiroshima easily. The program itself plans several field trips which take people to some of these places such as Mount Koya and Hiroshima, but there is also plenty fo free time to explore the rest of Japan! I strongly recommend that you check out this program.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Roughly $50-100
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Try to eat at home with your host family!

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

The program was great for encouraging Japanese speaking. 3 hours of classes every day was helpful along with homestay and Japanese buddy programs.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Advanced
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Fluent
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 2nd year Japanese
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? Talk to Japanese people!

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Japanese Class
  • Diverse Classmates
  • Good Location
* What could be improved?
  • Workload
  • Administration
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew that deodorant is not really a thing in Japan. Bring some if you're coming! Also, American toothpaste because Japanese toothpaste is strange.

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!