Paul - International Christian University

B. Arts
Semester 2, 2014; Semester 1, 2015

Academic experience

I took the intensive Japanese courses, and going from single courses at UQ was a big change. I figured while I'm there I may as well go as far as I could with the language, and it was definitely difficult to keep on top of everything. It also meant I stayed up late finishing homework most nights but was worth it. Other people were able to take other courses on top of the intensive courses, but I felt it was enough of a workload for me.

Personal experience

My Japanese improved greatly from the experience, through both coursework and the clubs I joined. In the holidays I was able to explore Japan at my own pace, and spent a week in Kyoto and visited Nara to see all the deer roaming around. It snowed when I was in Kyoto, but then I went to the snowfields in Hakuba for a couple of days skiing. Other people went to a lot more places but there is so much to see in Tokyo that you really need to have a reason to leave. I joined the juggling club while I was there, and we went to Disneyland which was an amazing, if not tiring, day.


I lived in an apartment about 200m from the campus because I felt I would have more freedom and privacy living on my own than in a dorm. However, it seemed the people who lived in the dorms had a great time as well. It really is up to your own preference whether you live in a dorm or off-campus. I didn't know anyone that was in a home-stay so can't really comment on that.


Most things were cheaper or the same as in Brisbane. You can easily get a meal for ¥500-¥800 at a lot of places, although it goes up when you want anything that isn't traditionally Japanese. Rent was comparable to Brisbane, with electricity, gas and water depending on your use, but again about the same as Brisbane. Transport was about ¥300 to Shinjuku. I recommend buying a bike to get to and from the train-station though as it is a fair walk.

Professional development and employability

I was able to finish my Japanese core subjects on exchange, which has meant now that I'm back I've only got electives to do. I also hope that doing this exchange has made me more employable in Japan in the future


I think the best thing about my trip was joining clubs and making new friends!

Top tips

If you are going on exchange soon, remember to try to do as much as you can, and see as much of the country as you can, because you only get a short amount of time. Don't leave thinking 'I wish I went somewhere', if you have the time, definitely go to all the places you want to go.

Paul - International Christian University