The culture class for the US program was wonderful.

Erin from 2013

Which events or activities did you find the most satisfying and why?

The culture class for the US program was wonderful. It gave me an opportunity to visit many interesting sites that I may not have otherwise visited on my own. Mr. Tanaka and Ryuhei were excellent tour guides. My favorite was the overnight trip to Kamakura; it provided a much-needed getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Which co-curriculum classes did you find most satisfying?

Road to Kanji Master was really fun.

What were the most productive and interesting aspects of the program for you? The least interesting and productive?

I thought being in a class full almost entirely of students that could not speak English was very helpful, as it forced me to communicate in Japanese in order to make friends. It also forces you to think about all of the things you are learning in Japanese, rather than translating them in your head from Japanese to English. As mentioned above, I thought the culture classes were wonderful. I also like how there seemed to be a ton of cool events that people could sign up for (tea ceremony, tickets for baseball games, etc). They provided a good opportunity for additional experiences in Japan. I honestly really don't have any major complaints about the program, except that I thought it was weird that we were made to take the placement exam the day following our arrival, when we were all exhausted and suffering from jet lag.

What activities or materials did you find most helpful (e.g., pair work, drill practice, tests, small group sessions, textbooks, games)?

The tests and daily assignments in level 4 were very good in helping us prepare for the midterm exam and final. The daily kanji tests helped improve my reading ability immensely.

What did you find most valuable in the Culture Course?

The opportunity to see and explore new things in Tokyo with my peers and a knowledgeable chaperon to act as tour guide and explain to us the most interesting points in English. It was a good bonding experience for us US students, too.

Any further thoughts or tips for those considering the program or new KCP students?

Buying food for yourself every day gets expensive. Don't blow all of your money in the beginning on stuff you don't need! Pack light, there are many things you can buy in Japan once you've arrived here.

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Past and present students share their thoughts and experiences on studying in Japan.

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Frankly, it seemed like the best. The other programs I looked at were either heavily geared towards Chinese and Korean students or prohibitively expensive. Plus, KCP has a long history and a LOT of alumni who openly praise the program online — and I hope to be among them!

—Dylan Chapin