Best year of my life July 31, 2019

By (University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign) - abroad from 09/09/2018 to 05/23/2019 with

University of Illinois: Illinois Year-in-Japan Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
A lot of friends both Japanese and foreign, fluent japanese language ability, and a broader perspective.

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.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The program provides you with plenty of freedom to do what you want outside of class, but at the same time, the faculty are very helpful and will not hesitate you to accommodate you.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Being able to live with a host family is arguably the most appealing part of this program, my host family was very nice and helped me whenever I needed and made me really good food.

* Food:

The cafeteria food, as well as the convenience store food is good and cheap, and the food made by the host families is delicious as well.

* 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

The year in Japan was the most fulfilling and exciting year of my life. Joining clubs and circles is very easy and rewarding, and there are plenty places where you can make Japanese friends, they will often even approach you. The social dynamic is really fun and unique because of the small amount of students together frequently, so it is easy to make good friends. I didn't expect much of the field trips before going, but those actually turned out to be some of the best memories I made there.

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? ~7000yen

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? 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? Third 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? Try to make Japanese friends outside of class

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • N/A
* 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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Meeting people
  • Going out and getting food
  • Being with host family
* What could be improved?
  • More opportunities to take Konan courses
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? You don't have to push yourself all the time.

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!