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Obirin or Oita

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Obirin or Oita

Postby Larry » Mon 09.18.2006 1:40 am

I'm planning on studying abroad next year and my two choices are Obirin University in Tokyo or Oita University in Oita prefecture. Can anyone give me an idea of what each is like or the differences. Thanks
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RE: Obirin or Oita

Postby Oyaji » Mon 09.18.2006 1:58 am

Where do I begin.

I have work in Oita City every month or so. Oita University is a *decent* school. Oita City is a *nice* city. Beppu, with its famous Hot Springs is nearby, and there are lots more hot springs throughout the prefecture. There's not a lot to distract you from your studies. The foreigners who live there either love it for its natural beauty and small town feel, or hate it for being boring and in the middle of nowhere. As a gauge, there are three Starbucks in Oita City, and one in Beppu, and that is it for Oita Prefecture. If you want to economize Oita will be far less expensive to live in than Tokyo, and you will feel less crowded, but you may feel the urge to go to Fukuoka for weekends, which would negate any savings.

I go to Tokyo less often, and know nothing about Obirin University, but Tokyo is Tokyo. It is crowded and expensive, but it has EVERYTHING, at a price. I won't even guess at how many Starbucks there are in Tokyo. ;)
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RE: Obirin or Oita

Postby Shibakoen » Mon 09.18.2006 7:45 pm

Oyaji wrote:
I won't even guess at how many Starbucks there are in Tokyo. ;)


Granted it isn't Tokyo, but there are 3 Starbucks within a five minute walk from Yokohama eki. As for Tokyo -- hmm... -- I think there are 3 within a five minute walk of Roppongi Hills. There might be 3 IN Roppongi Hills by now, though.

Edit -- Are you already in college? I ask because I notice you're from NC and so am I. I went to school there and my sensei actually taught at Keio University in Tokyo. I'm not saying that that's where you should go, I'm just saying that there are some good schools in the UNC system and I know that the top ones have pretty good Asian language departments. She helped me when I was looking for Japanese language schools and I'm sure that they'd be more than willing to help you decide on a good foreign exchange program.
Last edited by Shibakoen on Mon 09.18.2006 8:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Obirin or Oita

Postby Larry » Mon 09.18.2006 11:48 pm

I do prefer small towns, the town I grew up in doesn't know what a starbucks is :). I'm really only considering Obirin I guess because it offers a homestay. I've heard that offers a good experience. If anyone has experience with that, give me your opinions!

I'm going to UNC Charlotte right now. These 2 schools were recommended because they teach classes in English. I'm in my first semester of Japanese, and plan on going next year, which will be after my second semester. I really wanted to major in Japanese, but I can't find school in NC that offers it. UNC Chapel hill offers a B.A. in Asian Studies with a concentration in Japanese. I'm trying to figure out if that's close enough to the same thing to get into a Graduate school for Japanese studies. Schools are being slow about giving me answers.
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RE: Obirin or Oita

Postby Oracle » Tue 09.19.2006 12:38 am

Oyaji wrote:
I won't even guess at how many Starbucks there are in Tokyo. ;)

I love factoids. According to this there are 210 Starbucks in Tokyo (東京都, so not including Yokohama etc)
I would have guessed a lot, lot more, but there you go..

Ok, back to the main thread :)
Last edited by Oracle on Tue 09.19.2006 12:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Obirin or Oita

Postby Oyaji » Tue 09.19.2006 4:42 am

Larry wrote:
I do prefer small towns, the town I grew up in doesn't know what a starbucks is :).

If you REALLY mean that, Oita is a beautiful place. Oita City has a population of over 300,000, so "small" is of course relative. It's not very easy to get to other parts of Japan from Oita, so if you want to do a lot of traveling that might be something to keep in mind. I personally like Oita.

I'm really only considering Obirin I guess because it offers a homestay. I've heard that offers a good experience.

On a short time basis it can be a great experience, and can give you a valuable look at daily life in Japan. As a permanent arrangement, I don't know that I would recommend it. If you get a good family, it can be wonderful, and you may grow to consider them your second family. Unfortunately I have heard many less pleasant stories as well. Even well intentioned families tend to have a very strong sense of responsibility, which can lead to them trying to control your schedule beyond what you may be used to even with your own parents.

I have actually seen this more from the other side. I have had many host families ask me to talk to their foreign guests and tell them they should come straight home after class and eat dinner every night at home, and not go out with their friends, and spend more time in their rooms studying.

I have heard of many communities offering weekend and holiday homestays for foreign students, so that might be an option.

I'm sure others here can give you some good advice.
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RE: Obirin or Oita

Postby two_heads_talking » Tue 09.19.2006 9:30 am

Try Oodate in the Tohoku prefecture or maybe Iwanuma (which is just south of Sendai) those are both pretty small towns. Of course they aren't very local to Tokyo, but small towns are small towns. ;)
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RE: Obirin or Oita

Postby Shibakoen » Wed 09.20.2006 7:27 pm

Larry wrote:
Schools are being slow about giving me answers.


Are you going to be in Chapel Thrill anytime soon? You can probably check out the office hours of who ever is the department head and drop by. Halloween's a good time to be there (or at least it used to be -- haven't been for a few years). Then there's always football and basketball games if you can get tickets. But, the most effective thing to do is just call, and keep calling until you get an answer. Professors and even TAs get BURIED in emails at that school. If you do drop by, definitely give the person a heads up or even make an appointment ahead of time.
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