Penny - University of Tsukuba

B Architectural Design
Semester 1, 2018

Academic experience

I took both courses of architectural design and Japanese language. I was glad to experience a different studio culture in Japan. We spent a lot of time on physical models and I was quite satisfied with the outcomes. We had a chance to design houses for a real estate developer and I received a prize from them.
 
A challenge would be there are no architectural courses been taught in English. The enrollment also took me some time. Japan has a very different education system compare to Australia. I finally had to take 12 courses to get enough credits.
 

Personal experience

I made lots of Japanese friends in the architecture class. I always talk to them in Japanese for practicing. There were lots of exchange students coming from many other different countries in Tsukuba and we had a great time together.

Accommodation

I lived in the campus. The largest room is about 450 AUD/month, excluding electricity and water fee. The dormitory is a little bit far from the shopping center. It is better to rent a bicycle. Each room has a bathroom and a small kitchen.

Costs

Rent is about 450 AUD per month and food is about 200 to 300 AUD per month. Transport depends on distance and frequency of travel.

Challenge

Transport might be a big challenge as Japan has a very complicated traffic system. I downloaded traffic apps and timetables to plan my route.

Professional Development

It is the first time that I lived on my own. I learned how to manage my time more properly.

Highlight

I had the chance to study with the famous architect Professor Kaijima Momoyo from Atelier Bow-wow.

Top tips

Bring a warm jacket as the weather is still quite cold in April. Buy a traffic card (suica card) and you can keep charging it.