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Has anyone here been on an exchange to Japan?

I'm going to Japan in March 2013 for 5 months. Just curious about your guys exchange experiences (: Share your stories below?

Also, are there any essential phrases/words I need to know? (I've been studying the language for 4 years) I just mean like things you got stuck on or things you completely forgot to learn.

Any tips for the exchange in general?

I also made a blog talking about my exchange and I'm hoping to teach my followers Japanese phrases I pick up in Japan, if anyone's interested --> christineinjapan.tumblr.com

Thanks (:
posted by VodkaKiwifruit

Comments 8

  • Amara6
    I haven't been on a exchange, but I know a japanese exchange student who is currently outside of japan.
    In our discussions, I came to realise most of common japanese is speaked with «suru».
    Also, don't forget itadakimasu before eating!
    Hope you'll have a good time.
  • VodkaKiwifruit
    Thank you!
  • vickyb92
    I was an exchange student in Kobe for 10 months in 2009/2010! :) Had the time of my life and met a alot of new people. I had 10 hours of Japanese classes everyweek and by the end of the school year my Japanese was great! Now it's not so good, but I'm starting with Japanese studies at uni so hopefully it will get even better :)

    I lived with Japanese host families and attended a local high school while I was there :)
  • Dorayakiko
    you're so lucky!
  • VodkaKiwifruit
    Thanks :) I'm very excited. ^^
  • dolphin1528
    I had such a blast in year 10 that I went on the school's 3-week exchange a second time around (hence why I don't own a car!).

    Basically, just make sure you know the basic phrases like "where is the toilet?", "may I do laundry?", "where is a good place to buy souvenirs?", etc. Take a digital camera, charger, adaptor, and plenty of spare memory cards! Also, take a phone card. And if you do get sick in Japan like I did, don't tell your parents via email if you are unable to make it to a computer for 5 days. They WILL call your host family in a panic, and you WILL get in a lot of trouble... lol!

    Also, I strongly recommend getting a Visa Travelex card arranged one month before departure. Very handy, and if you run out of your own money in the account, you can get your parents to wire you some really easily.

    #1 rule - make the most of it! Try not to speak too much english, steal the Japanese super-secret english-studying techniques to apply them to your japanese learning, always carry a notepad and pen to write down new vocabulary your host family teaches you, and learn that if you ask for a glass of water, you'll probably get some ice green tea. :)
  • dolphin1528
    Oh, and you'll be surprised at how much Japanese you actually know - you understand hearing it more than you can speak it. I had an amazing conversation with an elderly Japanese couple on the ferry to Miyajima, and it started just because I asked if I could take the seat next to them.
  • Yuuzuki
    I was an exchange student in Saitama back in 2009-2010.
    I live & work in Tokyo now :3

    I would bring deodorant & painkillers (no codeine though XD).
    The Japanese ones are useless....