View Full Version : Studying in Japan: Which City
09-08-2006, 09:41 PM
Basically, my University offers a nice study abroad program, including Japan of course. Classes mostly in English, unless you choose to take a native JPN course or a language class of course. I dont know when exactly, but if my grades hold up, it could definately be this coming summer, or sometime after (Im an honors student though, so I get better treatment lol). My question is, has anyone done a similar program in Japan here? My university allows you to go through Osaka, or Tokyo I believe. Financial aid will be valid there too as well, so that is nice. So, does anyone have a preference to either of the Cities. Dont attack eachother please lol
09-09-2006, 12:07 AM
Hey Borman, I did a program at a University just outside of Osaka last summer. Simply put it was the best time I have ever spent on this earth.
If you want to find out which uni you would be studying at I might be able to help. Studying at a Japanese uni has taught me at the very least which ones are considered the "best". It is really not worth trying to ask whether Osaka or Tokyo is "better", I was near Osaka so am naturally biased. Just let me put it this way - if someone offered me a free flat in Osaka or Tokyo it would be Osaka every single time for me.
Anyway as I said it is pointless trying to compare cities, I love Osaka and always will. I like Tokyo, but I prefer Osaka, that is all.
However Universities on the other hand differ greatly so it is well worth finding out what your options are there. Also find out if you would be staying in a dorm or a homestay. That is the kind of thing that is more important. Also my uni was a bit naff in that I barely had any work to do but would be expelled if I took a job. I for one could have done with a bit of extra cash so resented that a touch. Just try to find out what each uni offers and make the decision based on that.
If you have any questions about anything to do with studying in Japan I can probably help, so feel free to ask. I am actually going to do another year in Japan next academic year (if all goes to plan).
BTW Osaka rules.
09-09-2006, 05:02 AM
Heres for a semester / year:
Courses taught in English at Kansai University of Foreign Studies, located near Osaka, including Japanese language and literature, Asian studies, economics, history, politics, psychology, art, sociology, and management. There is no language requirement. Housing with host families or in dormitories.
Courses taught in English at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, including Japanese language and international studies. No language requirement. Housing in dormitories. Summer program also available.
09-09-2006, 11:51 AM
Well those two options sound very similar in terms of academic level. Perhaps the Tokyo University would be slightly better, reputation wise.
But the major factor is whether you go for a homestay or a dorm. Dorms will be much more expensive, you will be expected to cook and you will be expected to do all your washing etc.
Homestays are an easier option, you will usually get breakfast and an evening meal and three meals (if you want them) over the weekend. The major advantage is you will be part of a Japanese family and thus you're Japanese will have no choice but to improve, and fast.
My homestay room had its own bathroom, kitchen, front door, hi-fi, TV and my homestay mother did all my washing and she was a damn fine cook as well. I always had my privacy and I was spoiled to death really.
Dorms are not a bad option at all. You will get to know loads of Japanese guys at the very least. However they may bung you in with all the other gaijin so you might not be forced to learn Japanese, which would be a shame. Plus I will say it again - Dorms are expensive, especially when you factor in your food budget. I have only ever done a month in a dorm so I can't really talk with much experience. I just prefer the homestay setup.
I say go Osaka in a homestay.
09-11-2006, 07:44 AM
Find out exactly where in each city you'd be staying. People's definition of Tokyo is often as broad as "Kanto" (which is massive). I had a friend that was actually living in Yamato, Yamanashi which is a good 40 minutes away from even Yokohama. Ideally, the further from the city the better if you want to really learn the language. Too many escapes in the city.
Also note that the colloquial dialect of Osaka and it's neighboring areas (Kobe, Kyoto, etc.) is much trickier to learn than those of basically anywhere else in the country. Toyko is quite conservative in this sense.
The major advantage is you will be part of a Japanese family and thus you're Japanese will have no choice but to improve, and fast.
To this I can only say "word". Just remember to not be yourself. Be very polite and do whatever your host family says, no matter how stupid it seems. They're no weirder than the Tanaka's next door.
05-17-2007, 06:16 AM
Bumping up my old thread instead of making a new thread. Ill be giving it some serious consideration over the summer, as I should have no issues being accepted, or so I hope. Opinions or tips are always welcomed :)
05-17-2007, 07:42 AM
Did you find out any more information on specific sites of the campuses? As before, "Tokyo" is very big.
05-17-2007, 08:12 AM
Kansai Gaidai's two campuses (Nakamiya and Hotani) are located in Hirakata city (http://www.city.hirakata.osaka.jp/) (pop.: 405,000) near Osaka city, the second largest business metropolis next to Tokyo.This Geographic advantage provides students with easy access to the centers of Osaka and Kyoto in little over half an hour by train.
Id post more on the other, but the site crapped out for some reason.
I don't have any experience with the two unis but if that's your first longer stay in Japan I'd say go to Osaka. You'll have all the advantages and experience of the modern megalopolis as well as Kobe, Kyoto and Nara pretty close.
Also posters said before either stay with a host family or if you prefer to be more independent at least join a club at university for your Japanese social contacts. It's fun to hang out with people from all over the world but that's what you'll do anyway. It's harder to get to know Japanese if you go to classes held in English and live in a dorm. That's what I can say from my experience studying in Tokyo some years ago.
In the end I don't think it matters which one you'll choose. You will most likely just have a great time anywhere you go.
05-18-2007, 02:51 AM
The campus in Tokyo isn't very centrally located. Looks like you're between Kichijouji (which is actually pretty cool) and Chofu. Either of those two places are going to be about a 20 minute express train ride to Shinjuku, or about 30-35 minutes on a local. The Keio lines are traditionally packed to the gills, FYI. I lived on one for my first 3 years of Japan.
I guess you need to ask yourself how much are you going to be hanging out in the city. If you plan on frequenting Akihabara, you're in the wrong place. A friend from another forum just got back from a trip where he lived in Musashisakai (you can see it on the TUFS map) and he said it took him a good hour to get to Akihabara.
That's just your campus though. I assume you'll be staying with a family. They could live even further. Maybe closer, but maybe not. Japanese can do a 1 hour commute each way w/o blinking, and will have absolutely no qualms about giving the same commute (or a longer one) to you. If you plan to live in Japan long term you will most likely have to do one anyway unless your loaded so you might as well get used to them.
05-20-2007, 12:26 AM
Yea, the plan is to stay with a family. I don't plan on being in the city every day or anything, I just like having an option to actually go out and do something if I feel up for it (and am allowed for that matter). I expect funds to be extremely low for this one, but really, my goal is to get a taste of Japan and what it has to offer, without too much in the way of outlandish things that would be unreal if I decide to live there at some point.
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