Drill practice was good as it helped me better remember grammar structure, vocabulary, and kanji.

Kayleigh from Summer Short 2016

Which events or activities did you find the most satisfying and why?

I really liked visiting Hosei University to visit and interview other college students. Everyone was very nice and I genuinely had a great time. It wasn't awkward and the tour around the main campus buildings was fun. I liked seeing college life in Japan.

What were the most productive and interesting aspects of the program for you? The least interesting and productive?

The most productive and interesting aspects of the program have been interactions with fellow students and teachers. The most helpful aspect was the English lessons that were available for additional explanation of grammar before regular classes. I generally liked the whole program. The least productive was probably the day spent on the speech contest. I liked listening to other speakers and watching the performances, but some parts were longer than necessary and there were some technical issues.

What activities or materials did you find most helpful (e.g., pair work, drill practice, tests, small group sessions, textbooks, games)?

The most useful activities were working in small groups even though we did not do them very often. Drill practice was good as well as it helped me better remember grammar structure, vocabulary, and kanji.

Were you pleased with the general living arrangements? Anything you especially liked? Any problems you experienced?

The room fit all my needs. There was enough space to live comfortably and the fridge space was much more than I was expecting. The main issue I had was with the shower/tub arrangement because I am tall I could not use the tub. The best part about the Ikebukuro dorm is the location. It is very close to a supermarket, laundry services, convenience stores, and major shopping areas in a 10~15 minute walk. It is also relatively close to campus, about 30 minutes via train including transfers. The majority of my fellow students were respectful. The only issue seemed to arise out of students being too loud at night or bringing other people over for inappropriate activities which disturbed other dorm residents. The dorm manager was excellent and was very friendly to everyone and even joined us in the common space on a regular basis which allowed us to practice our Japanese more.

Any further thoughts or tips for those considering the program or new KCP students?

I have been to Japan 4 times now and have generally had a great experience each time. During my time at KCP, one of the most important things to consider are your finances and how you spend your free time. Japan has a lot to offer and Tokyo can allow you to travel to other prefectures very easily. That being said, some students do not manage their funds well and found themselves unable to buy groceries, pay for transportation, ect. Making a budget and adhering to it is very important for any new KCP students, especially for those who will be coming to Japan for the first time. My suggestion is to make a list of the top five things you want to do or buy and do those things first. Impulse buying will catch up with you quickly. Next, the way you spend your time is very important. The temptation to not study and simply explore will probably be very high when you arrive, but try to save that for a Saturday or Sunday. You will need to study 2-3 hours a day at minimum to retain new vocabulary, grammar, and kanji. You may fall behind if you do not. Lastly, and probably most importantly, the structure at KCP is different from your home country regardless of where you are coming from. Attendance is very important, and tardiness is not tolerated. If you tend to be late often, you will not do well in class and will interrupt your other classmates. Additionally, many absences and tardies will negatively affect your overall grade from a couple of percentage points to a whole letter grade. The teachers are here to help, so if you do not understand something in class please go to the teachers lounge or attend the English lessons for assistance. All classes are taught in Japanese, so you will need to get further explanation outside of class. Otherwise, KCP does a good job of assisting students will arrival, housing, and other unexpected situations outside of school such as sudden hospital visits, bus reservations, ect.

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Student Life

Past and present students share their thoughts and experiences on studying in Japan.

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I wanted to be in a major city in Japan and learn Japanese, and this program had good reviews online in addition to being affiliated with several universities that I knew of. There was also a decent amount of information available online from non-official sources, which gave me good information on living arrangements and general life as a student.

—Steffan Achtmann