I am currently a 3rd year Bachelor of Arts student, with an extended major in Japanese and a minor in Asian Studies. While on exchange I took eight courses at the University of Kitakyushu, seven of which were taught in Japanese. These included a conversation class, a kanji class, three grammar and reading classes, writing and listening class, a class on Japanese society and a Japanese Culture class. The Japanese Culture class was taught in English so as to include all exchange students, however, in the end there were only British and Australian students. I enjoyed the small class sizes, as in most of my classes there were only eight students. However, it was tricky to get used to each aspect of the Japanese language being divided into classes, as at UQ, classes are created by topic.

I forged friendships the moment I stepped foot into Kitakyushu, little did I know though that I would become close friends. I continued to make friends everywhere I went including each day that I went to university and I think I will be friends with these people for life. I was able to explore places whenever I had free time, while also experiencing Japanese culture. The estimated expenses per month can vary as there are many extras. However, basic expenses such as rent, internet and power per month were around 37,000 yen, which is around $450. I was able to live on $30-40 worth of food per week.

You must visit an all you can drink and all you can eat izakaya, or Japanese style bar, as often as possible. There is one near the university called “Nimuzu”, but I can tell you now, you do not need me to tell you that. I suggest you do as much as possible and never turn anything down, unless of course you have other plans. I also suggest that you join a circle, or club, this will help you get settled in and make more friends. Whether it is purely a social circle or a dance circle where there is an event every now and then, it doesn’t matter.

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