My exchange adventure so far has been exciting, incredible, and one of the best decisions I have made. However, the decision to commit to a one year exchange in Japan wasn’t easy for me. It meant leaving my partner, family and friends back in Australia for a whole year. Whilst it was a difficult decision, I decided to take up this once in a lifetime opportunity and I am so happy that I did. I just couldn’t keep myself away from Japan!
I chose Kansai University for my exchange because the courses offered were very appealing and intriguing. I have been to Osaka previously and I really enjoyed the atmosphere, sights, location and convenience. Another reason I chose Osaka is because it is affordable.
Since I arrived in Osaka, everyone I have met has been so friendly and helpful. I currently live in the Kansai University International dormitory and the atmosphere is very lively!
I have met people from so many different places… America, Germany, France, and Belgium, just to name a few. I’ve been in Japan for 4 months already and I’ve found it so interesting to learn about other cultures. It has really opened my eyes and has been an exciting experience! This has made me very keen to travel around the world in the future.
Living in the dorm has been a new and enjoyable experience. I’ve learned to be more independent, as I cook meals for myself every day. I’m responsible for buying my own groceries, managing my budget and cleaning up after myself. I feel that I have become more mature because of this. Various events are held every month in the dorm. The Resident Assistants (RAs) living in the dorm arrange these events. The activities range from watching movies, going to Universal Studios Japan, exploring areas of Osaka, experiencing Japanese culture and much more! These events have been really entertaining, a great way to make new friends and to get to know people better.
Adjusting to the workload at Kansai University wasn’t too difficult for me. I was able to choose subjects that would give me enough credits for my degree back home and still have enough free time. I’ve managed well to adjust to the way that classes are taught in Japan. There is a slightly different style of teaching for Japanese and this is where I’ve had to adjust myself the most. I’ve also gained confidence in class – I’m more motivated to say an answer, give my opinion or contribute to the conversation. I’ve been able to manage my assignments without a problem. However, it does get overwhelming near the end of the semester, when there are multiple tests, assignments, and presentations. The positive is that I am now on a month and a half long break! Even though I have only just started my summer break, I am making the most of my free time – with lots of traveling of course!
Living in Osaka is extremely convenient because I can get on a train and do day trips to Kyoto, Nara, Kobe, and Okayama. It’s definitely had an impact on me traveling more often! One of the most outstanding things I’ve enjoyed is being able to experience all the different seasons. As I’m living in Japan for a year, I get to see Japan in every season and all the festivities that come with it. Right now, I’m enduring a hot, humid, and rainy summer. However, what’s getting me through it is the amazing summer festivals, the numerous events, and seasonal food and drink!
Take a chance and go on exchange – the people you will meet, the memories you will make, and the opportunities are so valuable!