My experience at JF Oberlin university

My experience at JF Oberlin university

This is an interview with an exchange student from Australia. He studies at University of  Wollongong in Australia which is 1 and a half hour drive from Sydney.
Thank you Dylan for discussing your experiences and thoughts with us!

Why did you choose Japan to study?

      I have always liked Japan, because of the movies and anime. Eventhough I am not a Japanese major I searched for an exchange program and I had a few extra credits so I figured to come.

      Why did you choose JF Oberlin?

    I choose JF Oberlin because they had the most accessible curriculum. Most people here are Japanese major, but I am a Philosophy major. JF Oberlin had the option to STUDY JAPANESE and also do some EXTRA SUBJECTS TOO.

What was your interesting study abroad experience?

     I suppose because of the last 3,4 months Japan’s Tourist BOOM it became SUPER busy. It is way busier than where I am from. Australia’s population is around 26~27 million, but there is 40 million in Tokyo alone so that was CRAZY for me.

And I got to plant a rice in Gifu. That was super special and a lot easier than it looks. Way easier than potato farming. That was a great experience. All these little things in Japan, for example if you go out in Shinjuku on a Friday, it is so much different and so much lively !

   What method did you choose for stay?

     I am staying in an apartment with my partner who I met in Australia. 10 minutes away from Shinjuku station, so its nearly an hour and a half to come to the university.

     First. It was first thing that came up when I searched for long term stay in Japan. It was Share House company called “OAK house”. Highly recommend.

     Second. In Australia, it was 40 minutes from where I live to go to my university so it was not that long for me. Also, the FREEDOM that it allows. It is 10 minutes from Shinjuku which means I can go out, do some interesting things near from TOKYO station. Love that.

    How do you feel about your classes? Your schedule? HomeWorks?

    I like the classes. Last semester I did beginner level Japanese, a tutorial class, and two content classes including “history” and “experiment electivity”. WORKLOAD was little more than Australia. I am fairly sure the reason would be of the visa requirements which is 600 minutes in class.

      This semester I decided not to take Japanese Language classes, and took “Filmmaking” “Fieldwork in Japan” instead. I think Fieldwork class was good because it allowed me to do activities outside of the class which was one of the goals for my study abroad experience. If I get to use the language it is lot better than learning in at a classroom.

  What are some difficulties in your experience?

 Probably the language barrier sometimes, but not to sway anyone away from interacting people in Japan. They were very kind and patient even if the Japanese wasn’t good.

What did you gain from your experience?

 Definitely, APPROPRIATION. Appropriation for in Japanese aspects and the care that people have.


Your message to future coming students?

   I would say JF Oberlin is one of the best Universities I have come across in terms of their focus on language learning. If you are a Japanese major, it is certainly going to be on the top of the list. Really great place to learn.


Writer’s opinion:

  1. If you are interested in studying abroad in Japan, I think Tokyo would be the best place. There are so much opportunities to look and explore around.
  2.  Being able to study other than Japanese language is a good chance to learn and get credits while studying abroad.
  3.  If you are planning on studying abroad for a long term, living in center of Tokyo is a great place because you will have more chance to see around. You can also ask the University for advice.