Benson – Meiji University – Japan
Semester 2, 2022
Bachelor of Law (Honours) / Bachelor of Business (Accounting)
I am not the best student in terms of grades, so I wouldn’t say I have enjoyed studying for the last four years of my degree. So I thought, why not use my degree and enjoy it a little bit, then I decided to apply for a one-semester exchange to Tokyo using my general law electives. After a long stressful application period, I could go, and now I’ll write about my experience there in Japan.
For accommodation, I had the option to pick between 5 different locations. I initially chose a more private dormitory but ended up with Meiji Global Village, which was the best thing to ever happen to me on the trip. Meiji Global Village is a shared dormitory between Meiji University students. Half the dormitory consists of native Japanese students, and the other half is exchange students like me from all around the world. There I met many people I would call my close friends after six months. The dormitory had a common area where everyone could hang out, where I spent most of my days when I was not exploring the city. After six months, I can confidently say that my life in Japan would not have been half as fun without meeting these people. My dormitory also had breakfast and dinner, which were paid in bulk in the initial payment. So when I didn’t feel like going out to eat, those were great and were definitely a money saver compared to eating outside.
For me, Japan had many more classes than I usually had at QUT, so to meet the credit requirement, I had to do eight different units. Many of my classes were held at 9 am. As I was in Tokyo, the morning train rush was a bit of a pain to deal with, but honestly wasn’t as bad as having to wake up so early. There was also a stricter attendance rule where three absences would result in a fail, and three late attendances will result in one absence. As the units were held in English (except for the Japanese language classes), the content was relatively straightforward and easy to understand. The language classes were also taught at the level you are.
Japan and Friends
As someone who enjoys taking photos, I brought my camera to Japan to capture my experience. Japan was one of the most photogenic locations I have ever gone to. From the streets to shrines/temples and even landscape/nature, everything was stunning to experience and see. The people there are incredibly nice and welcoming. With the abundance of convenience stores like Seven-Eleven, Lawson, and Family Mart, Japan was one of the most convenient countries to live in. During the holidays and weekends or just time outside of class, I went around the country with the friends I made in Japan. These are some of the most precious memories of the trips which I will remember for the rest of my life. Witnessing the seasonal changes of the country while going on these trips was an amazing experience.
Leaving Japan was definitely very disappointing as I will be leaving the country I spent six months enjoying. Leaving all the friends and not being able to visit the common area and chat with everyone definitely is one of the saddest things about the exchange program. However, overall the trip is definitely one of the highlights of my life, and meeting everyone in Japan is possibly one of the greatest things to have happened to me making everything worth it in the end.
Find out how you can apply for exchange via the QUT Student Exchange website.