Best time of my life August 08, 2019

By (University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign) - abroad from 09/06/2016 to 01/20/2017 with

University of Illinois: Illinois Year-in-Japan Program

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It got me out of my introverted comfort zone. My language skills improved so much as well

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.

Focusing mostly on the Japanese language was tough for me, but in the end it was all worth it.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Very kind and very supportive

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

My host family was my favorite part of my experience. They were amazing and helped me beyond measure.

* Food:

Not even sure how to review this. The food was amazing! Eating dinner with my host family almost every night is something I'll always remember

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

You may have to jump out of your comfort zone, but it is totally worth it. Never a dull moment

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I had no health issues, but when I was sick the program gave me the time I needed to recover, and i was not penalized for missing class.

* Safety:

I felt very safe in Nishinomiya. Love that city

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

The experience was amazing! Karaoke, baseball, food, all of these would keep me coming 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)

It was easy to live on the student budget.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $100
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Use your student ID for discounts


* 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? 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? Japanese 202
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 your host family! They are the key to success

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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Host Family
  • Karaoke
  • Freedom
* What could be improved?
  • More field trips
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I would have talked to my family a lot more

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.