Jessica - KOMSTUDY

Bachelor of Arts
November 2017

Academic experience

Komstudy is a short-term intensive Japanese language course. We had classes every weekday morning from 9:30 am to 11:45 in which we studied, Keigo (honorific form of Japanese speech), grammar, and vocabulary. Participants were split into two groups based on Japanese level and previous study. I found myself to be in the middle of the two groups, which was difficult at first when I was placed in the higher class. Most students in that class had completed on average 3.5 years study where I was only at the end of my first year. I'm very glad I pushed myself to study hard and I found I learnt a lot

Personal experience

My Japanese improved tremendously, after a while I stopped caring about getting it wrong and instead just tried my hardest in being understood. The students which I had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know, I'm sure I will remain friends with for a long time. My host family too. I also got to experience another aspect of Japanese culture which I was not privy to before, such as the day to day life of an average Japanese student.

Accommodation

We lived in homestays off campus. I was only a 10minute bus ride away which was very convenient. My homestay didn't speak any English at all but they were so incredibly kind and accommodating. They went out of their way to make my experience as pleasant as possible. I think there is a huge difference in culture and customs between Australia and Japan, it's really important to remember that and communication (even if broken) is the key.

Budget

The fee for Komstudy was around $3000, this included accommodation, meals which were eaten with my host family (breakfast, some dinners, and any outings I had with them). Transport for me was relatively cheap only around $10 a day, but I know of other students that lived further so it was quite expensive for them. After classes on some days and on the weekends we had free time, and it was up to us what we wanted to do. Activities in Japan will cost you quite a bit, the students at Komazawa University are all friendly and very keen to show you around Japan. My host family were always very insistent on paying whenever we went out together but others may not be the same.

Professional development and employability

I learnt that it's important to try everything at least once before you decide its not for you. 

Highlight

I loved Disneyland and also the tea ceremony. Disneyland was a terrific day out with the Komazawa students. The tea ceremony was held in a traditional Japanese style room on campus. The members of the tea ceremony club taught us how to prepare tea which we also got to try. We also had the opportunity to wear kimonos.

Top tips

Try your hardest to speak as much Japanese as possible, it's a great opportunity to practice your language skills and also Google translate will be your best friend