Went over to the Land of the Rising Sun in September 2011, remember it is summer over there. Summer is hot and very humid unlike Brisbane’s where it is dry. During my stay there I chose Canada House (one of the dormitories) as my residence. The hostels are all on-campus and takes 2 minutes to your classroom. And if you are lucky (or unlucky) your hostel will have a communal bathroom. The campus is spacious but at the same time small. With only 3000 students you will be running into someone you know at every turn.

As an exchange student you will be most likely enrolling to either the Intensive Japanese course or the regular Japanese classes. Taking the Regular Japanese classes will give you time for other liberal arts courses if you so wish. It was quite refreshing for me to be surrounded in the language 24/7. Every waking minute is a learning opportunity.

Hot tip: Since your main purpose is to learn the language, I highly recommend staying in one of the hostels and also join one of the many student clubs, that will be the fastest and easiest way to make more Japanese friends.Interestingly all non-native English speaking students in ICU are required to study English for a year. So there is a high chance they will want to practice speaking English with you!

No words can express how grateful I am to have the opportunity to do an exchange in ICU. There is a cosy feeling studying and living in a small campus.

Now to get down to the gritty stuff – money. Tokyo is expensive. Especially in the case for transportation, a return trip to downtown Tokyo will cost AUD$8-12. In terms of food it is almost the same if not slightly cheaper and definitively more delicious. But there are relatively cheaper places to shop and eat. Places like Daiso and DonkeeHote where you can shop for everyday items.

Travel. Campus life is different from the rest of Tokyo, so is Tokyo from the rest of Japan.

ICU= Isolated Crazy Utopia

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