So its been over a month in Japan and as I gradually got used to life in Japan, trouble struck. Perhaps its due to the overwhelming club events, or perhaps due to my stupidity, I almost failed to register on time for my subject selection. Fortunately, UTS International had my back and I got my subject selection sorted. A word of advice though is, make sure you contact your host university and UTS staff to help you if you require assistance, and to set your priorities. Coming to a country so different from your own country can be at first so daunting and frightful as you experience the culture shock. For me, I just wanted to get away from my old daily life and experience living away from home. However I remember my friend saying “I wanna go home” on the first day they were here in Japan. I believe that this would be true for many if not most people who go on exchange. Advice number 2 would be, it would be natural to feel homesick or lost during the first few weeks on exchange, however during that time you should go out and make new friends, sign up for uni clubs, go to events etc.
Japan is much, much more crowded than Australia, so if you are claustrophobic or scared of small spaces, I suggest you mentally prepare yourself before coming to Japan, because it is very crowded. Personally, with regards to the subjects that Meiji University is providing, I like all of my subjects. Each subject is unique and different in its own way. For example, one class I’m taking called Introduction to Visual Culture, we have to form groups and go on a field trip to a specific area and find visuals and visual representations of ‘Japan’. Compared to what I am studying in UTS, which is Bachelor of Global Studies, this class is very different to the classes I’m taking at UTS.
Meiji University also have an international lounge in each campus, which is kind of like our library back in Sydney, ‘our second home’ or as I would like to call it. In the lounge there are both Japanese and International students, a quiet study area and staff to help you whenever you are in the lounge. I find this facility very exchange student friendly, and it is also a great place to make friends with people all over the world, not only Japanese people.
Since only one month has passed, I wasn’t able to travel or visit the places that I want to see. However I was able to go to the Tokyo Game Show and nearby attractions near the Nakano campus of Meiji University. Another thing I found out about Japanese people is: they love lining up for things, lining up for queues. Although we got to the Tokyo Game Show two hours before the gates open, there were already over a thousand people in front of us, waiting in a queue.
Roger Hu, 12559567, Bachelor of Global Studies, Meiji University, Japan