Jasmin - KOMSTUDY - Komazawa University

B Arts/Education
December 2018

My experience

I decided to complete KOMSTUDY 2018 to improve my Japanese language ability, experience academic study in a foreign country, and broaden my academic and personal horizons.

How has the experience changed you?

KOMSTUDY 2018 has been one of the most life-changing experiences during my UQ program. 

This experience changed me personally, as it forced me to be self-aware, responsible, and to problem solve in difficult and unknown situations. My Japanese language ability also improved during the program - particularly my listening and speaking ability. Additionally, as leader of KOMSTUDY 2018, I believe this experience helped me develop professionally as a leader through organising activities between Komazawa and UQ students, liaising between Komazawa staff, UQ students, and UQ representatives, and solving any problems that arose within the group.

Favourite memory

My favourite memory from KOMSTUDY was going to Asakusa with the Komazawa student volunteers. We visited the shrine, shopped at alley stores, wore kimono, and ate yakiniku.

Top tips

My advice to future participants is, firstly, get involved! Make sure you get involved with all the extra-curricular activities organised by Komazawa University, as well as those organised by the Komazawa student volunteers. You will make friendships for a lifetime! 

Secondly, organise your finances and phone before you commence the program. The best way to go about your finances is to get a Travelex money card in Australia and download the app so you can top up in Japan if you need to without any hassle. Bring cash also. For your phone, I think it's best to purchase a data sim card at the airport upon arrival. You can buy a limited amount of data for anywhere between $30 - $80, or an unlimited amount of data for about $100. I recommend the unlimited sim card, as you will use the internet often for things like directions, translator, and media. 

Finally, get involved with your host family and bring gifts! Your host family is not financially remunerated for you, so make sure not to treat their house like a hotel. If you can, try and be a part of family life also, and use as much Japanese as you can when you communicate with them. 

Good luck!