When I left for Tokyo I was at the start of my fifth year of an Arts/Law degree.

All of my classes were conducted in Japanese, so my language skills definitely improved. The subjects are relatively easy, but the homework is constant. Just go to class and do the work and you'll be fine. Always ask your teachers questions if you are unsure of anything--all of mine were lovely.

The Komazawa accommodation is very convenient--only five minutes by bike to uni. It's also only three stations away from Shibuya--fun times ahoy. Living in central Tokyo can get a bit hectic, but if you embrace it, it's a lot of fun. Of course, when you're over it you can retreat to your lovely self-contained room, so you know, either or.

If you're anything like me, you're currently freaking out about whether you should go on exchange at all. I was so unsure, and I remained incredibly anxious even after I'd made the decision to go. However, I have no regrets about going. It wasn't always a party, but it forced me to face new challenges and realise my potential. I'm definitely a tougher person for doing it. So as well as all the cliche fun times/new friends/new language, I would actually recommend going on exchange for personal growth alone.

Tips:

  • Don't worry about feeling stupid because you have no idea what's going on. I felt stupid the entire time. It was almost liberating.
  • Go to class. Many classes allocate marks for attendance/effort.
  • If you can, save up heaps of money before you go. Tokyo is more fun with money (shopping, eating out, generally being fabulous).
  • Some friends and I got a cheap deal on flights and accommodation to Seoul through H.I.S.--it was so much fun. Definitely go to South Korea if you can.
  • If you're into it, go to Fuji Rock. Seeing Stone Roses up in the mountains was a life highlight.

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