Always things to do

I budgeted around $4000 of my own money, my youth allowance and the $4000 QUT scholarship. However NUCB required prepayment of rent for one semester students before I received the scholarship. I had to actually borrow money from my parents to cover the shortfall as it was $4000 and I had already purchased my airfare.

Generally about Y15,000 easily covered my weekly expenses and left me a little to go out with. I was lucky and received a Y25,000 monthly scholarship which covered the shortfall from my youth allowance for my weekly expenses. I found it sometimes difficult to stick to my budget as there were always things to do, places to visit or new foods to try. So I often broke my budget a little when I was sightseeing outside of Nagoya.

I think the cost of living is lower than Brisbane, excluding rent (I don’t know what Brisbane’s rent is since I still live with my parents), as you can eat and travel cheaper.  There were lots of relatively cheap restaurants near the dorm and the convenience stores sold cheap bento. I got a prepaid travel card that saved my money for my uni travel but also let me ride for free between certain stations. NUCB also had half price bus tickets which was brilliant.

I generally used a travel money card and net banking instead of using an Australian card as it tend to charge extra overseas. Getting a bank account in Japan was fairly difficult and NUCB did not recommend getting one unless you were working while studying or staying there for a year. However it was annoying that I could only withdraw money at 7-11 and post office. ATMs and many businesses would not accept a foreign card. You are required to pay Japanese health insurance but it’s not expensive at about $20 per month and worth it if you visit the dentist or need to visit a doctor.

Studying Business from a different perspective

I studied only business and culture courses while at NUCB. Studying business from the perspective of a different culture as well as learning more about that culture and its history was very interesting. English not being the native language was not a problem due to how all the teachers and exchange staff spoke English. Although sometimes some of the teachers had trouble understanding and answering questions.

I think the academic intensity was higher due to more classes, but the actual assessment was a bit easier. Unlike QUT, lectures were more common, with less classroom work and interaction except for in culture class and innovation management. Presentations were used as assessment in every class, and were generally 20-30min or full period presentations long. This was a great opportunity to work with other students. Every class has a final exam, unlike QUT, this was a bit more stressful as exam period was over 5 days and you had to do around 7-10 exams, sometimes 3-4 per day depending on your courses.

Accommodation at NUCB

Accommodation at NUCB

My accommodation was a private dorm room. It came with furniture, bedding, a pan, dishes and cutlery and also had air-conditioning, a washing machine and a private bathroom. However the kitchen was rather small and only had one burner which made cooking somewhat difficult. But the large range of relatively cheap food available nearby meant I didn’t have to cook every night. It was located close to transport and NUCB while being walking distance vicinity of downtown Nagoya which was great. NUCB also had a share house and another dorm building in different areas; and are currently building a new dorm near Sakae.

Fourth best Business School in Japan

Nagoya University of Commerce & Business (NUCB) is the 4th best Business school in Japan according to Eduniversal and its business courses are consistently ranked highly within Japan and Asia. Nagoya also has lower living costs compared to Tokyo and is more centrally located. I had also heard that NUCB ten to organise field trips for its exchange students. As it turned out, the trips and events organised by NUCB were very fun and educational.

I got the opportunity to hike a world heritage pilgrim trail, attend the NUCB school festival, and visit the Toyota factory. I would also not have been able to visit the Kii mountain range or experience a school festival without NUCB organising them.

Toyota Factory Visit

Toyota Factory Visit

Japan is a country with a long history and an amazing culture. It’s almost hard to believe sometimes that you are visiting a 15th century castle or a city that is over a millennia old. Nagoya is located near the middle of Japan’s main island. It’s under an hour from Kyoto and two hours from Tokyo by bullet train. So it was very convenient for trips to Kyoto, Takayama and Shirakawa-go.

The undergrad campus is actually located outside Nagoya in Nisshin city, about 45 min away by train and bus. Nisshin campus has lots of sports facilities and clubs to join; for example: archery, snowboarding, baseball and comedy clubs. But unlike QUT it is not located near a city so it is not easy to leave campus to grab lunch due the 15-20 min bus trip and irregular bus times. They do have a good and cheap cafeteria that serves ramen, curry and set meals as well as a Mos Burger and 7-11 on campus.