Learning to understand rapid-fire talking styles was invaluable.

Steffan from Summer Short 2017

Which events or activities did you find the most satisfying and why?

The bus trip to Yamanashi is fun, a great way to get introduced to some of the culture outside the mega-city that is Tokyo.

Why did you select this program?

I had done it before and it was easily one of the greatest experiences of my life, so I really wanted to return and do it again to try to push myself past the intermediate level rut I found myself in.

What were the most productive and interesting aspects of the program for you? The least interesting and productive?

The best parts really are class; sitting there and hearing explanations and having the chance to get nuances explained to you verbally and through written feedback is great, and being purely in Japanese does wonders for helping your brain think in Japanese. The rotation of teachers is also great, since it forces you to learn multiple styles and speeds of spoken Japanese; some of my teachers were a bit more difficult to understand at first, but the process of learning to understand rapid-fire talking styles was invaluable. I honestly didn't find anything unproductive; uninteresting, nothing comes to mind, just the usual "I'm in class learning so I'm going to space for a minute" type of things, nothing related to any of the actual education itself.

What activities or materials did you find most helpful (e.g., pair work, drill practice, tests, small group sessions, textbooks, games)?

Pair work and practice sentences were super helpful, and exams were great for determining how well or poorly you truly understood something.

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Past and present students share their thoughts and experiences on studying in Japan.

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I loved meeting new people in my classes and being able to practice Japanese almost every day. I loved living in Japan as if I were Japanese and absorbing the culture. 

—Pei Lin