I am an exchange student from Germany in visual communication design and have been here at Kyushu University for 6 months now.
I guess it’s a well-known secret that if you go abroad as an exchange student for one or two semesters, your first priority is not really hunting credit points. It’s about meeting new people, getting new impressions, experiencing a different culture and of course having a good time and here I had plenty of that.
In the beginning the language barrier was very challenging and it still is, since you won’t find too many English speaking people. Most Japanese students are very shy when it comes to speaking English, but everybody here is trying their best to help you out . Be willing to learn some Japanese is a good idea though.
I got a lot of support from the Kyushu University, my professor and the students, so I really felt I was taken good care of by everybody and hence could get used to the Japanese life fast. The university is really concerned about their international students and Also organizes many events for them, which is great. People here made me feel like really belonging to the university and being a part of it, even though I am just an exchange student for a rather short time.
A big part of University life in Japan is the club activities. There are clubs for almost anything and I truly had a good time joining some of them. But of course I also studied and could work on some very interesting projects together with Japanese students.
Again, the language barrier was a slight problem and not all professors can speak English, but since design has its own language it all went well and I had a lot of fun working together with the Japanese students. Big thanks to my personal translators!
All that’s left to say is, it’s always the people that make your experience either good or bad and all the people I met here were so kind and welcoming to me as a foreigner that my Japan-experience became a really great one which I don’ t want to miss.
(October 2014 –September 2015)