Learn Japanese with JapanesePod101.com

View topic - The Japanese Experience

The Japanese Experience

Post questions and answers about living or visiting Japan or the culture

The Japanese Experience

Postby Ashurii » Mon 04.10.2006 7:56 pm

I know there are quite a few people that went to university for a year (or even four) in Japan and I'm curious to hear about your experiences! I've seen a few members mention them shortly in other posts, but maybe a thread like this will be a good reference for people planning/hoping to go abroad. Here's a few of my questions! Maybe I'll add some later (but I'm at work now, naughty me :p)

Sorry if this is a repeat of another post, but I didn't see any like that!

What level was your Japanese before you left?
What school did you attend?
Was it a homestay?
Is there anything you did that you really regret (especially missing some sort of cultural footnote)?
Anything you would recommend to people who go in the future?
What level was your Japanese when you returned?


Of course you don't have to stick to that, just random stories from your time there, whatever you want to say. ;)

Of if you just want to talk about your experiences just living in Japan (not study abroad even) that's fine too, have at it, all information is welcome! :D

Feel free to post pics or ramble on for hours, it's all good. B)
Last edited by Ashurii on Mon 04.10.2006 8:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Ashurii
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Sun 03.19.2006 4:46 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI
Native language: English
Gender: Female

RE: The Japanese Experience

Postby Devros » Tue 04.11.2006 10:40 pm

I've never been to Japan but i'm thinking about studying in Japan in a couple of years as part of an exchange program or something like that. I have to learn Japanese first tho.B)
Katakana 46/46
hiragana 46/46
kanji ~30
User avatar
Devros
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun 03.05.2006 5:26 pm

RE: The Japanese Experience

Postby Mukade » Sun 04.16.2006 2:21 am

I did a one-year study abroad at a university, which is what I would recommend to anyone learning Japanese. Getting into a Japanese university as a regular student can be extremely difficult, and is kind of a waste when you can get a much better experience/education at a university in Europe or the States.

Ashurii wrote:
What level was your Japanese before you left?


I had two years of college-level Japanese. It was enough to get through basic conversations. Unfortunately, I went to a school in the Kansai area, which has a very strong dialect, so it was like I knew nothing when I came here.

Ashurii wrote:What school did you attend?


Kansai Gaikokugo Daigaku in Hirakata, Osaka, Japan.

Ashurii wrote:Was it a homestay?


Yes. Actually, it was the mother of one of my Japanese friends from the US. She heard I was going to Kansai Gaidai and called her mom and made arrangements for me. She just happened to live near the university. I got very lucky.

Ashurii wrote:Is there anything you did that you really regret (especially missing some sort of cultural footnote)?


I made a point of experiencing as many cultural things as I could while I was here, including going to temples, shrines, castles, museums, etc. The only thing I really regret is drinking so much at Yasuo's birthday party that I vomited on, and then passed out, on his back porch. Note to future students to Japan: don't mix beer, tequila and warm sake! :o

Ashurii wrote:Anything you would recommend to people who go in the future?


Many people who come to Japan, even exchange students, find it very easy to get sucked into an English-only 'foreigner community.' While it's nice to have a good support network in place, you aren't going to learn as much Japanese as someone who immerses themselves in the culture and the language while they're here. I had no foreign friends (still don't, actually), and most of my Japanese friends spoke no English, so it forced me to constantly speak Japanese all the time. I couldn't fall back on English as a crutch, and although it was difficult, my Japanese progressed leaps and bounds over that of my classmates.

Ashurii wrote:What level was your Japanese when you returned?


This is always such a tricky question to answer. 'Level' is such a fluid term, encompassing many different things. For example, speaking ability and listening ability are two very different things.

Anyway, one year, ultimately, isn't enough. If you want to achieve some noticable fluency, you'll need at least two, if not more.

I would say, though, that I went there with a high-beginner level, and I probably came back with low/middle-intermediate. I know that doesn't sound like a big leap, and it isn't, but keep in mind that I was solidifying my understanding of basic Japanese. There's a difference between having a shaky understanding of basic Japanese and having a solid understanding.

Also, when I came to Japan, my ability to say basic things was very halting and slow, but when I went back to the States, I could say basic things with fluency and ease.

All-in-all a study abroad is an essential experience for anyone trying seriously to learn a second language (unless you're Swiss or something like that ;)).

----------------------

Actually, I just noticed that your sig says you're going to Konan university. Kobe's a really nice city, and conveniently located near to both Osaka and Kyoto. Take advantage of Kyoto's culture, Osaka's night life and Kobe's unique mixture of Japanese and foreign architecture. You should have fun!

You'll probably have the same experience as I did of coming here, hearing the Kansai dialect and asking yourself "what language are these people speaking? this doesn't sound like the Japanese they taught me in school!"

But if I managed to get through it alive, I'm sure you will, too. ;)
Last edited by Mukade on Sun 04.16.2006 2:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Mukade
 
Posts: 775
Joined: Fri 02.18.2005 3:30 am
Location: Osaka
Native language: English
Gender: Male

RE: The Japanese Experience

Postby Harisenbon » Mon 04.17.2006 12:44 am

Kansai Gaikokugo Daigaku in Hirakata, Osaka, Japan.


You're kidding me. I went on the same program.
Although I assume you went well before me. ;)

They moved the whole campus from that tiny building for the foreign students to a full integrated campus. I unfortunately finished the semester before the new campus opened. :/
User avatar
Harisenbon
 
Posts: 2964
Joined: Tue 06.14.2005 3:24 am
Location: Gifu, Japan
Native language: (poor) English

RE: The Japanese Experience

Postby Ashurii » Mon 04.17.2006 7:15 pm

Mukade wrote:
You'll probably have the same experience as I did of coming here, hearing the Kansai dialect and asking yourself "what language are these people speaking? this doesn't sound like the Japanese they taught me in school!"

But if I managed to get through it alive, I'm sure you will, too. ;)


Yup, that's my main concern right now! I'm doing a homestay so I don't know exactly where I'll be (though it's a max of an hour and a half commute to Konan), but I want to study a bit of Kansai ben before I go.. know any good books? :D

Also thanks for answering my question. ;)
Last edited by Ashurii on Mon 04.17.2006 7:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Ashurii
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Sun 03.19.2006 4:46 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI
Native language: English
Gender: Female

RE: The Japanese Experience

Postby Harisenbon » Tue 04.18.2006 12:47 am

Yup, that's my main concern right now! I'm doing a homestay so I don't know exactly where I'll be (though it's a max of an hour and a half commute to Konan), but I want to study a bit of Kansai ben before I go.. know any good books?


There are a number of good books on kansai-ben that you can get on Amazon, but unfortunately I've only ever bought one, and I can't really recommend it as being good. :/

Kansai-ben, while different, is not completely different from regular japanese as long as the speaker will slow down for you. I'm sure your host family will not havea problem speaking a little slower so that you can get past the accent.

On the other hand though, I could never understand my host brothers when I stayed in Kansai. I just had to nod and pretend I knew what the hell they were mumbling about. ;)
User avatar
Harisenbon
 
Posts: 2964
Joined: Tue 06.14.2005 3:24 am
Location: Gifu, Japan
Native language: (poor) English

RE: The Japanese Experience

Postby Mukade » Tue 04.18.2006 6:23 am

Harisenbon wrote:
Kansai Gaikokugo Daigaku in Hirakata, Osaka, Japan.


You're kidding me. I went on the same program.
Although I assume you went well before me. ;)

They moved the whole campus from that tiny building for the foreign students to a full integrated campus. I unfortunately finished the semester before the new campus opened. :/


I went in '97-'98. I've never been to the new campus, but I hear it's nice.

Small world, huh?
User avatar
Mukade
 
Posts: 775
Joined: Fri 02.18.2005 3:30 am
Location: Osaka
Native language: English
Gender: Male

RE: The Japanese Experience

Postby keatonatron » Tue 04.18.2006 8:43 am

Well, there are only so many schools you can easily find out about from overseas... I wouldn't say it's that big of a coincidence :D
User avatar
keatonatron
 
Posts: 4838
Joined: Sat 02.04.2006 3:31 am
Location: Tokyo (Via Seattle)
Native language: English
Gender: Male

RE: The Japanese Experience

Postby Naikou » Tue 04.18.2006 1:22 pm

Can anyone give me some pointers in getting a scholarship, or even homestay agreement done in Japan? I blew my scholarship opporunity, believing Id marry my at that time girlfriend (who ended up cheating on me). I'd still like to experience Japan, but as a student, it cannot be done unless you have a very wealthy family.
Naikou
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon 04.10.2006 1:47 am

RE: The Japanese Experience

Postby Corybobory » Tue 04.18.2006 2:52 pm

I recently met a number of Japanese students from Kansai Gaidai that were doing an exchange at my university :) I've heard many good things about the school. I was considering doing a year there but have changed my mind since I just want to focus on getting my degree, and will go to Japan to teach once I'm graduated. I visit Japan for my first time in 26 days!
User avatar
Corybobory
 
Posts: 34
Joined: Mon 07.11.2005 1:26 am

RE: The Japanese Experience

Postby Ashurii » Tue 04.18.2006 4:45 pm

Naikou wrote:
Can anyone give me some pointers in getting a scholarship, or even homestay agreement done in Japan? I blew my scholarship opporunity, believing Id marry my at that time girlfriend (who ended up cheating on me). I'd still like to experience Japan, but as a student, it cannot be done unless you have a very wealthy family.


Well you should probably pay a visit to your school's study abroad office to find out what programs they offer. Though you shouldn't limit yourself to just those programs, it would be a bit of extra paperwork (and grants may not apply to those schools), but finding the program for you is important! (Also make sure it's accredited so you get credits for the classes you take overseas).

Off the top of my head I know that Temple University (ok I don't KNOW this, but my friend participated in homestay while there, so I assume it's so) and Konan University are homestay programs. The fall deadline for Konan has passed, but Temple University's for Fall deadline is May 1st. Other programs that I know of (but you stay in school dormitories) are Kansai Gaidai (passed for Fall enrollment), Ritsumeikan University(passed for Fall), Waseda (passed for Fall enrollment), IES Tokyo (May 1), IES Nagoya (Passed for Fall enrollment), BCA Abroad's Sapporo (Passed for Fall enrollment). Those are only the programs I know of from my school, there are a LOT more, talk to your school and research online (but be sure to discuss the programs with your study abroad advisor so you know that you can get credit for the program and that it's legitimate).

The price isn't really THAT bad, for myself I'm already an out-of-state student so the price of most programs were actually a little less that what I pay to attend the University of Pittsburgh. Some of the scholarships I applied for were Freeman-ASIA, Briding Scholarship and Gilman Scholarship. There are MANY MANY more (google!), but unfortunately most deadlines have passed (including the ones listed above).

If you want to go next fall I reccomend you get going because most program fall application deadlines are already passed, however there are a few program with a May deadline out there.

If you choose to go in the spring or even the Fall after, you have a lot of time to plan and research (as well as more scholarship opportunities). Just take time to know everything that's happening and talk with your advisor.

Sorry for this wall-o-text, I'm just in the middle of the paperwork process so I wanted to stress a few points that I wish I hadn't missed. ^^; Just be informed and good luck! :D
User avatar
Ashurii
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Sun 03.19.2006 4:46 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI
Native language: English
Gender: Female

RE: The Japanese Experience

Postby BrianM » Wed 06.13.2007 10:02 pm

Im seriously thinking of goin next fall 08, for maybe a year. I've been studying by myself for almost a year now and (by the time nextfall comes) i will have taken 3 japanese language classes. I know thats not enough but i think it can get me through. I got to Rutgers here in NJ and they price is 18,700, and the site for the program says the price includes Tuition, fees, housing, excursions, and basic medical insurance are included in this fee. BTW this is a full year, mid september to late july
I jsut wanna know if you guys think this is a good price for the program.
I have found cheaper but with the costs not included i think it would come tothe same price.
User avatar
BrianM
 
Posts: 151
Joined: Thu 09.14.2006 9:03 pm
Location: U.S.A
Native language: English/Portuguese

RE: The Japanese Experience

Postby keatonatron » Thu 06.14.2007 8:14 am

BrianM wrote:
Im seriously thinking of goin next fall 08, for maybe a year.


Cool. By then this thread will be 2 years old and ripe enough for yet another resurrection.
Last edited by keatonatron on Thu 06.14.2007 8:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
keatonatron
 
Posts: 4838
Joined: Sat 02.04.2006 3:31 am
Location: Tokyo (Via Seattle)
Native language: English
Gender: Male

RE: The Japanese Experience

Postby Midori Sento » Fri 07.06.2007 4:45 pm

I am currently attending OSULA( http://www.osula.com/) I want to move to Japan and study there within the next 2 years. I have a few abroad schools in mind, I also have plans to go to Japan and study around fall of 08. I just can't decide which school to enroll myself in. There are 3 that caught my attention and I have looked into. I would love anyone's opinion on them and if they feel it's a pretty fair price and place to study Japanese. Here are the links

( W.L.E ) http://www.wle-japan.com/index.html
(LanguBridge) http://www.langubridge.org/tklong.htm
(K.C.P Int.) http://www.wwu-japan.com/finances/costs.html

any feedback is well appreciated. I'm sure it will help anyone here looking for info on different abroad programs in Japan. ~_^b
Last edited by Midori Sento on Fri 07.06.2007 4:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
The absence of evidence isn't the evidence of absence.
Midori Sento
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu 06.21.2007 4:58 am

RE: The Japanese Experience

Postby Mike Cash » Sat 07.07.2007 6:26 am

Ashurii wrote:
I know there are quite a few people that went to university for a year (or even four) in Japan and I'm curious to hear about your experiences!

What level was your Japanese before you left?


Probably somewhere around JLPT 3

What school did you attend?


Hirosaki National University

Was it a homestay?


No.

Is there anything you did that you really regret (especially missing some sort of cultural footnote)?


No.

Anything you would recommend to people who go in the future?


No.

What level was your Japanese when you returned?


Didn't return.
Never underestimate my capacity for pettiness.
User avatar
Mike Cash
 
Posts: 2737
Joined: Sun 08.20.2006 3:38 am
Native language: English


Return to Culture and Info about living in Japan

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests