Residence Life as an Exchange Student

Public Relations Office        March 21, 2013

Andrew (Drew) Shoemaker, Exchange Student from Drake University (America)

Japanese Studies

Studying abroad at Kwansei Gakuin University has been the most fulfilling experience of my academic career. As an exchange student at KGU, I received the full Japanese student experience. Attending rigorous Japanese intensive language courses during the daytime and practicing Kendo in the afternoon, there was never a dull day. Having a full staff of caring and experienced people all within one school really sets KGU apart. In just the language classes alone my understanding of Japanese increased at an astounding rate. Couple classes with the thousands of opportunities you have everyday to speak with real Japanese students while in the Fujita Global Lounge and you have every opportunity to in the world to practice and sharpen up on your speaking skills.
Extra-curricular activities are a must while studying in Japan. Not only does joining a Circle or a club allow you the chance to meet a great deal of new friends. But they also act as a gateway into a whole other culture. Joining the Kendo team, I watched my first match, practiced a martial art for the first time, and wore Kendo armor for the first time. All of these were firsts that I could never forget. I even went with the team to Japan’s largest collegiate Kendo event, held at the Tokyo Budokan.

Drew Shoemaker

All the classes and activities are great at KGU, but it is the people that you see in your everyday life that will make your exchange worth it. Because I came to Japan, I have made friends from all over the world and established bonds that will never be broken. Among the people that will have the greatest impact on your everyday life, your host-family is the star of the show. Before meeting Mr. and Mrs. Tsuda, I never thought there was anyone in the world that could be so kind and supportive of someone they had just met. Though I was living in a whole new country, they always made me feel welcome and at home in Japan. The relationship I have made with my host-family is reason enough to return to Japan and once again experience the sights and sounds of Osaka.
For anyone wondering if they should study abroad in Japan, I only have one piece of advice. Come to KGU. You have a once in a life-time opportunity, and there is no better place to spend it than among the best people around.

-Drew Shoemaker-
December 14, 2009

Zhongqui Shi (史 忠秋), Exchange Student from Soochow University (China)

Residence Life

 I have been in Japan for three months and two days. It makes me hurt even to think that I will have to go back to China soon with my Japanese no obvious improvement. I still remember the first day I arrived Japan. The airplane made me feel sick. It rained that day. I carried my extremely big suitcases. I slept nearly all way from Kansai Internatinal Airport to Nishinomiya Kitaguchi.
 My dormitory is on the hill. I didn’t realize that there are so many hills in Japan until I arrived here. My dormitory is located in Takarazuka, so I don’t have to transfer a lot like some of my classmates, but it’s still a little bit tiring to climb the hills every day. It’s a big surprise to have my own room here because in China we share rooms, though later I find it to be a little lonely.

Perhaps the biggest problem I have to face with in my residence life is cooking. I didn’t cook so much back in my country. Every day I have to think about what to eat and then what to buy. I seldom buy food in the convenient stores because I never count them to be delicious. Now I gradually get used to cooking and I find it’s a good way to relax, especially when I cook myself a big meal, and I can also obtain the opportunity to speak to the others in the dormitory.
The bed is soft and I love it so much because I always think that it’s the happiest thing to have a full night sleep. Outside my room there is a little piece of lawn and sometimes there are fat cats passing by. My room is luckily exposed to the sun and in the mornings that I don’t have morning classes I can enjoy reading in the warm sunshine. In the evening on the rooftop I can get a beautiful view of all lights on, except it maybe a little cold. It’s easily to live in here because there is everything needed for life.

Zhongqui Shi

 Of course the most important thing is that there are lovely people. The Korean girl who always smiles and say hello to me, the Indonesians who praised my poor voice, and then my Chinese friends who taught me how to cook……
 Every morning I walk to school and there are so many beautiful flowers along the road, and for all these I am grateful.