Matt – Ritsumeikan University – Japan
Semester 2, 2022
Bachelor of Laws (Honours)
For my exchange, I attended Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto for 1 semester, and it was one of the most fun experiences of my life. I travelled, met people from all over the world and learnt lots about culture and language.
While there I stayed in one of the 3 international dorms, Tokiwa. During my semester there I lived with around 35 other people there and really enjoyed meeting my dormmates who came predominantly from countries across Asia and Europe. It’s worth giving the local students who acted as Resident Managers a special shoutout as they helped international students with a lot of processes such as setting up bank accounts and phone numbers to make the moving-in process as smooth as possible. While the building itself was quite old, thanks to the people living there it really felt like home and I expect that the same could be said about any of the other dorms as well.
The Ritsumeikan campus itself was a short bike ride away (I highly recommend getting a bicycle for travel in Kyoto) and had great facilities and helpful staff. The international office was open most days and they were really helpful with any issues I had.
Ritsumeikan also offered a number of social circles that were available for students and I would highly recommend trying to get into contact with one that interests you as it is a great way to break through some cross-cultural barriers and interact with the local students! I really enjoyed playing basketball each week and made friends there that I otherwise would not have met through regular on-campus activities.
There was quite a variety of classes to choose from at Ritsumeikan, covering topics such as language, culture and history. Even in classes where the content wasn’t the most exciting I still found it rewarding to work alongside other students from such diverse backgrounds, both Japanese and other international students. In my case I found the homework workload to be quite manageable, this might change depending on the classes you choose but I didn’t mind one bit as it allowed me to really make the most of my free time. Japan is famous for its convenient public transportation and while I agree it was really easy to quickly travel across the country at any point in time it was quite expensive so I definitely recommend saving up if you want to see all that Japan has to offer!
Overall my exchange to Ritsumeikan in Japan was really amazing and I would recommend the exchange experience to any student trying to see the world and meet exciting new people. I’m sure I will never forget the memories I made along the way and I’m grateful to QUT for the opportunity.
Find out how you can apply for exchange via the QUT Student Exchange website.