Current students

Study Abroad in Karlsruhe, Germany 2019 - 2020

Destination: Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design (HfG) 
Study Period: September 2019 – March 2020 
Affiliation/Grade at the start of studying abroad: School of Design, 3rd year in Visual Communication Design 

My Thoughts on Studying Abroad 
1. Outcomes 
It was a very valuable experience to be able to see Japan from the outside. I took for granted the everyday life I have in Japan, and now I can feel how special it is. It was a very good experience for me to become “a foreigner” because I can feel that being a foreigner, being the minority group, can be lonely and feel out of place.Through various experiences, it had made me reflect on my values, which was a very good experience. 

2. Challenges 
I had a lot of trouble with languages. I could use English on campus, but long conversations were often tiring because it seemed like I had to take listening and speaking tests every time I talked. I think my life as an exchange student would have been a little easier if I had learnt English to a level where I would not have trouble using it daily. 

Also, many middle-aged Germans were not able to speak English. I would have enjoyed studying abroad even more if I had learnt enough German to be able to communicate with them. 

Advice to Prospective Students 
I believe that living abroad is an entirely different experience from traveling. You can experience what it is like to live in that country. There will be a lot of things that will go wrong even if you have gathered information about the country or the university you are going to study in, but I feel that it is a good experience. Of course, if you study abroad, you will lose the precious time that you can spend with your clubs and friends, and the opportunity to learn new things at the university. However, I feel that being aware that I gave up the time for the exchange, I will cherish my time as a student every more. The exchange did not turn out as I have imagined. It turned out to be even more that I could have ever imagined. Meeting the local people have changed my plans drastically and I ended up going to a lot of different places. My life did not go as planned, and I had to go through a lot of trouble, which I wish I hadn’t. However, I think I was able to handle unexpected situations and seize it as an opportunity. 

As long as you can return home safely, I believe that studying abroad will be a valuable and irreplaceable experience for anyone. I hope that you will make your study abroad experience a reality. 

Do you have faced any problems during your stay at the study abroad destination or have any suggestions for improvement? 
I had to deal with everything from big problems like registration, mobile phone contract, bank account registration, to small everyday concerns. I faced difficulties every day. Eventually, I was able to solve all these problems by myself, and I think that I could handle anything. Therefore, there is nothing that I would like to see improved. 

Kazuki Taguchi