Blog Archives

Japanese and American Thoughts #2 Sex Talks


Having a conversation with a friend from Japan and comparing our thoughts on things we found strange or unusual about each other’s Country, while trying to explain, defend, or (agree and then) explore the aspects of our cultures. Part 2

There is so much to talk about so this is part two; We decided to continue by covering a few aspects of conversations around sex. I almost cut out a few key sections, but I wanted to keep the conversation as whole as possible as is the point of the conversation.

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Pet Peeves #1 Chewing Food


I decided on one of my pet Peeves for today’s video. It’s debatable whether it’s really #1 or not, but for now it is.  After  a few more videos I plan on going back and forth between videos and blog posts.  Please let me know what you think!

Thanks,

Ryan

Japanese and American Thoughts #1 Public Baths


Having a conversation with a friend from Japan and comparing our thoughts on things we found strange or unusual about each other’s Country, while trying to explain, defend, or (agree and then) explore the aspects of our cultures.

There is so much to talk about so this is part one. We decided to start off with the conversation by diving into the public baths in Japan.

Sleep: A Love-Hate Relationship


Just a bit of a rant about my loving to be awake while I’m awake, but loving sleep while I’m asleep.

Over and Under Dressed


This happened to me in October and I think it has to happen to others as well.

I think we can all relate ;)


I feel like this is something that happens to everyone. This is my second video so feel free to let me know what you think, as it’s just one of the random things that pops into my head.

Felt Like Trying Something New


There is so much that goes on in my mind that expressing it all in words leaves me wanting a little more.  So I have started a Vlog to go along with my randomness here.  Let me know what you think, or don’t ;).

Japanese and me, so far [part 3] (IS 5)


Once in Japan I was hit by culture shock in varying degrees depending on the situation.  I was also horribly nervous and could hardly say a few words to figure out where I was supposed to go to pick up my luggage, let alone have a conversation.  Within a week I was able to hold a shaky conversation and after a month, I was talking to everyone and anyone I could.  I had always been Read the rest of this entry

Host Vs. Home University Arrival Assistance (IS 2)


            I have been talking with a lot of the Japanese exchange students at my home university and I have come to realize just how different the treatment of international students is between my home university and my host university in Japan.

            About a month before heading to Kansai Gaidai University ( 関西外大 ) I received an email concerning where I wanted to live, how long I intended to stay and where, information relating to when I could apply for classes and most importantly information on how to get from the airport to the university.  Housing was straight forward, listing all of the details of the five off campus, by a mile, Seminar Houses (similar to dorms) as well as the steps in requesting a home stay.kgu dorms I checked out the details and knew within two weeks where I would be living (seminar house 4).  I gave a rough estimate of my housing dates, using my definite move in and a tenuous move out date.  Housing: check.  I found out that I would have to wait until physically arriving at Kansai Gaidai before I could choose anything. Classes: to be determined.  Seeing as most of the exchange students heading to Gaidai have never been to Japan before, are unfamiliar with the area, or just outright do not know how to navigate Japan as of the first hour off the plane at Kansai International Airport, Kyoto Station and Osaka Itami Airport, the option of taking a group bus (for incoming international students only) to the Seminar Houses is available and recommended. Ride to Seminar House: check.  There is a ¥2000 fee (roughly $24.00) for the bus, but the alternatives would be either a taxi, costing well over ¥5000 (~$60.00) or taking the train which ended up costing about ¥3000 (~$36.00).  It was nice to have the choice to go directly to the Seminar Houses or to take our time exploring if we wanted to.  Usually everyone is so excited to meet the people at the dorm, to set up their rooms and to see what the area is like, so they go straight to the dorm.

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International students on our way to Seminar House 4

            For international exchange students coming to my home university the story is a little different.  The students use the same system as the full time US students to register for classes and for housing.  This site is confusing enough for native English speakers that have dealt with it in the past and heard the best ways to use it.  The students are told to use the site and are on their own.  What needs to happen to successfully apply for housing is;

  1. Request housing appointment
  2. Wait for authorized housing sign up date
  3. Search for available on campus housing
  4. Try not to get stuck in forced triples or quads
  5. Try not to end up in the smallest dorms on campus
  6. Select a room and wait to hear back from the university

            Not the most enjoyable process.  Once the students make their way to the USA they have to find their own way to the campus.  There are recommendations for them on how to do so, but that usually goes as far as “we recommend you use either a Peterpan or Greyhound bus” and an address for the university. From there they are on their own.  As for the students that arrive a few days early they need to look for hotels and make their way there by taxi. Housing: check, Transportation: Unknown.

            That is saddening for me to hear.  For me how I was treated every day played a large role in my absolutely loving my experience in Japan.  I hope that any difficulties dealing with the university do not put a sour taste in anyone’s mouth. It might take a little more time and effort for the very busy staff, but to request a university bus to pick up the incoming students as an option would probably be a reasonable request.

Japanese Visa status: arrived !!!!


After the long wait I have officially received my Japanese Visa!  I was told that it would just be a small stamp in my passport, but it is actually a second photo page, similar to the main photo and info page of my passport.

This is one of the last steps to my preparing for study abroad at Kansai Gaidai University, Japan.  It’s hard to believe but in less than 3 weeks I will start my journey to Japan.

All I have left to do before I leave is to finish paying my university bill, pack (oh boy), clean/ organize my room, run…a lot!, work, and not purchase anything.

countdown 20 days 😉