Bachelor of Psychological Science and Diploma of Languages (Japanese)
Bachelor of Psychological Science and Diploma of Languages (Japanese)

I’m in my third year of a Bachelor of Psychological Science and a Diploma of Languages (Japanese) and I went on exchange to Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo for both semesters of 2013. I was placed in the Faculty of Social Studies at Hitotsubashi, which gave me a broad range of subjects to choose from. In addition to a range of Japanese language subjects, I also attended classes on international relations, innovation, media and business, economics, management, history and business culture. The course structure is wildly different from UQ, and exchange students must enrol in a minimum of six subjects – an excellent environment to hone time management skills.

My Japanese improved hugely, especially my reading and writing, thanks to my teachers, friends and some hard work on my part. In addition to some great Japanese friends, I was able to make friends from all around the world, including the Netherlands, Denmark, England, France, Germany, China and Korea. In exchanging ideas, learning from and supporting one another, we’ve all grown as people. These kinds of insights into people, cultures, languages and world affairs are priceless and have changed the course of my life for the better.

I live on campus in Kunitachi, a small city that’s part of Tokyo. It’s on the Chuo Line, which runs to the West of central Tokyo. Living on campus is incredibly convenient, but the temptation to return to one’s distractions remain strong. Why study at the library when you can have tea and snacks at home? Why eat at the campus refectory when your kitchen is a six-minute walk away? The usual procrastinations that plague students are that much closer to hand. In short: it was definitely a blessing, but a mixed on.

Nearly every stop along the Chuo line is host to a bewildering array of adventures and opportunities, from the hiking at Mt Takao in the far West, the shopping in Kichijouji, to the nightlife in Shinjuku in the East, and magnificent food to be found everywhere in-between. There are endless changes to explore speciality shops and meet locals to hear about everything from history and culture to manufacturing techniques.

I have wanted to live in Japan since I was 11. 2013 was an exceptional year, filled with adventure, life lessons, friends and opportunity. My heartfelt thanks go to everyone whose support made this possible.

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