Simone Hansen Shares Her KCP Experience (Part 3 of 3)

Simone Hansen, KCP Summer 2018 alum, from Western Washington University, tells us about KCP, in her own words. Thanks for sharing, Simone!

“KCP also had a special class that met once a week or so. This class was to be voted on at the beginning of the year. They organized us by our levels but had some overlap in order to make sure each class had around 15 students. Level three students all had to take the conversation class because that one was supposedly the most popular one.

The ‘Build up Conversation Skills’ class was fun, and allowed us to practice speaking in Japanese a little more than we would have if we hadn’t taken the class.

The culture course at KCP was also an interesting class. It has half lecture and half tour. You were given the options to take all of the classes for credit (and pay a little extra) or to audit some of the classes that you think sound interesting, or to even take none of them. If you chose to take them for credit, you had five short essay responses to make based off of five different prompts.

I would recommend not taking the culture classes as a class for credits, but to sign up for all of the tours. That way you don’t have class every Saturday at 9am, and instead it starts at noon, and not every Saturday.

The tours are just as educational as the lectures, as you get to physically see some interesting culture locations in Japan. Also, half of your travel expenses are paid for. This is also probably one of your only occasions where you can participate in a Japanese Tea Ceremony.

KCP English students enrolled in the summer program that chose to live in a dorm, all live together in the same dorm in Ikebukuro. From the dorms to the school, it took between 15 minutes to half an hour depending on how good you are at planning. The school pays for your trip from Ikebukuro station to Shinjuku Gyoen Mae.

Commuter Pass.

They pay this in 3 different ways. When you first come, they give you a bunch of 165 tickets for the first month. If you want to take the Kanamecho station rather than the Ikebukuro Station (Kanamecho is closer to the Ikebukuro dorm) you have to feed the ticket into a machine and add 30 cents to it.

After that, they give you a commuter pass that lasts for one month. This pass allows you to get off between Ikebukuro and Shinjuku Gyoen Mae as many times as you want and at the four other stops in-between. If you want to ride from Kanamecho, you have to pay 165 yen extra.

The last way they pay for your transport is for the last month, which is via a bag of cash. You can use this to buy a commuter pass (I think you need 10 extra dollars, for the summer break), upload the cash directly onto a Suica card, or just buy a ticket every day.

Note: you will save money if you buy a Suica card and ride the train 100 times within your lifetime, which you should achieve during your stay because KCP summer semester is 77 days long. The school will have an instruction sheet that tells you how to get a Suica card and how to scan your commuters pass into your Suica, so that you don’t have to use the commuter pass as a ticket.

I had an amazing time and learned a lot and I can’t wait to visit Japan again!”

Don’t forget to read Part 1 and Part 2!