Bachelor of Business Management, 3rd year
Bachelor of Business Management, 3rd year

Academic Experience

 

I participated in a program called “U-STEP” which stands for universities wide exchange program. The University of Tokyo (UTokyo) had a variety of other exchange programs. I took a new course called “Global studies in Asia” where I was able to attain knowledge about asian histories surrounding Japan during the pre and post war times. The teaching methods are quite different from UQ. In most cases you are required to participate in weekly classes, takes notes and read the assigned readings until it's the end of the semester and you either sit for a test or submit a term paper about what you have learnt in a course. The most challenging part of the course was mostly managing your time to be able to submit your papers within the required time frame. Unlike UQ, you take approximately 7~10 courses per semester and the due date clashes.

 

Personal Experience

For the first two months, I was challenged in adopting Japanese style school life and living in dorms with other people from around the world. The second month I was embracing myself to go out there and make Japanese friends. This was the most tough period during my exchange before meeting a girl from UTokyo who took me everywhere and introduced me to her friend and people from the ‘Circles’ (Circles are basically like the societies at UQ). The third period was developing my Japanese skills by studying for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test N1. I spent most of my free time studying to improve my grammar and increasing my vocabulary.

Accommodation

I was living in Komaba International Lodge Annex. The dorm was a 5 minute walk from Campus, very convenient and also walking distance to two major stations where most of the livingware was provided. The chance of getting into the Lodge around Komaba campus is very rare, and most people were in the suburban lodge called Mitaka. The Mitaka lodge is very cheap but far from campus and social life in major cities were difficult, so if you can get a scholarship try finding your own room in a flat share.

Professional Development & Employability

Definitely my Japanese skills went rocket high! Listening to the students talking normally in Japanese was difficult at times until I got used to hearing them. Also, I used to read lots of Manga in Australia so I know few slangs and dorky culture that definitely assisted my Japenese skills.

Highlights

Experiencing the Japanese culture and food!! The food was so good in Japan that I had to worry about getting diabetes halfway through the stay because of the binge eating sweets and goodies. I also travelled a lot with my dorm mates and students. The photos of the local specialty food that I have eaten enables me to look back on the wonderful times I have spent around Japan.

Top Tips

Don’t be shy. It is scary talking to Japanese local students, but you can’t make the most of your time in Japan without getting those local students to take you outside the Australian travel book! They are more than happy to help you and talk to you in English/Japanese.

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