Bachelor of Arts and Social Science
Bachelor of Arts and Social Science

As a part of studying Arts and Social Science at UQ I was able to study in Japan for a year during my second and third year. I studied at Shimonoseki City University beginning in Semester 2 of 2013.

Studying in Japan is a very different experience to University in Australia. Attendance made up a large portion of my marks for each subject which meant that I was at University every day. While this was a very large change from what I was used to, I really enjoyed this school system. I found it was much easier to meet up with friends because there is a set lunch time where most people eat in the cafeteria. Also, being a small university, you get to know people very quickly.

Shimonoseki is a small city which, for exchange students, has many advantages. There are countless International Community Organisations who will invite you to their events and provide you with opportunities to get involved in the community. I had the opportunity to participate in a Rotary leadership camp, do presentations at local primary schools and even do a radio interview.

One of the main advantages about studying in Shimonoseki is the affordability. You pay around half the rent you would pay in a large city, giving you more money to spend on exploring the rest of the incredible country.

When living in Japan I stayed in the University accommodation which is what most International students do. I found this accommodation very comfortable and convenient. It is about 10 minute walk to the school and walking distance to a supermarket and train station. I was in the larger room which was around 28 000 Yen per month. However there is a smaller and cheaper room (20 000 Yen) which I think is sufficient for a student’s needs and I would recommend requesting this room in advance (I think the University usually places the Australian students in the more expensive room).

I was lucky enough to be offered a job as an English tutor which, although offered some financial reward, ended up being so much more than a job. The family I taught were so warm and hospitable and I looked forward to going to the lessons every week. Before the lessons we would eat dinner together and then afterwards the mother would always give me a little treat, like a bag of fresh Japanese mandarins or some sweets. Also, in typical Shimonoseki style, once I starting teaching one person, I ended up teaching two more through word of mouth. This was something that I really enjoyed and allowed me to interact with people outside of the University community on a regular basis.

If you can, I would recommend planning to start with the Japanese school year as I began half way through and it was very challenging.

Going on exchange is a very beneficial experience, not only for your language skills, but also for your own personal development. I wholeheartedly recommend making the most of the opportunities that are presented to you through UQ Abroad.

 

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