Student Exchange or Semester Abroad

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phramc
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Student Exchange or Semester Abroad

Post by phramc » Apr 20th, '07, 01:21

My friend is debating whether to go on an exchange program to Japan for about 6 weeks or doing a semester in Japan. I personally think she should do an exchange program first. She speaks VERY little japanese, hasn't travelled much, and I guess you could say isn't TOO knowledgable about japanese culture. Should she do an exchange before she does a semester abroad? What are your opinions on this?

And does anyone know where to get cheap plane tickets to Japan? I'm going either this summer or next and am trying to calculate how much I need. I really don't care where I sit, what kind of service. Heck I'll sit in the baggage area. :-) Anyways any info would be greatly appreciated.

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Post by Puppet Princess » Apr 20th, '07, 02:11

A semester is a pretty long time. In my opinion she should test it out first to see if she will even like studying there, It's very different from America and other western countries. If she ends up liking it after the exchange program she can always stay longer, right?

I'm doing kind of the same thing except I plan to transfer not just do an exchange or semester abroad thing. After I get my AA I intend to transfer to BUIC in Bangkok. I've spent a bunch of time in Thailand and I like it there, but that was all in the mountains not the big city. So, I plan to go spend Christmas with my grandparents (they live in Thailand) and spend some time in Bangkok to see if I actually want to, or can stand, living there before I lock myself into being there for a couple years.

So, yeah, I would suggest a smaller timeframe to start with. It's always easier to extend a trip rather than cut one short.

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Post by Shae0001 » Apr 20th, '07, 02:18

How long does an exchange program usually last?

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Post by Puppet Princess » Apr 20th, '07, 02:22

She says in her post that the exchange program is 6 weeks.

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Post by phramc » Apr 20th, '07, 02:24

yes in our case it will be 4-6 weeks probably 6.

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Post by Pinkutora » Apr 20th, '07, 02:40

I think she should go semester, because it takes time to get accustom to things so you don't want to rush back when u just start to familiarize yourself. In addition, there are several options she can choose from for studying abroad. If she doesn't speak a lot of Japanese and thinking about the disadvantage she will encounters at a Japanese school, then she can look into studying at international school over there. In Tokyo, there is a international University called Temple University, Japan. This is is actually an American operated school that teaches in both English and Japanese. But the school operates on an American School system. It is actually a branch of Temple University in Phila, PA. What grade is she in now? I think the smartest way to study abroad is through the direct exchange program. If your university has an agreement with a university over there for direct exchange then you just need to pay your regular tuition, because at the same time a student from that university can at your school by just paying their regular tuition. Do you know what I mean?

As for airplane tickets, I am not sure where to get them the cheapest but I heard that if you buy tickets during off season it is only about 500 or so.. The only problem is the cost of living over there..

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Post by Puppet Princess » Apr 20th, '07, 02:50

phramc is 14 so, though it is possible, it's unlikely her friend is in college. That is part of why I suggested just the exchange. She can always go back for college.

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Post by Pinkutora » Apr 20th, '07, 03:20

yea that is a good idea then.. homestay can be a good experience.. emerge yourself in the culture rite.. I wish I have an opportunity to do that.. I am planning on studying abroad myself.. If my goals work out then I will be working in Hong Kong, Shanghai or Macau this summer, then come back over here to study for a year to meet the requirements for transfer students. Then I am looking into applying for studying in China a semester and Japan for a semester.. No need to rush to finish all my classes and graduate rite.. I need to enjoy and establish some foundations for my foreign languages..

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Post by phramc » Apr 20th, '07, 03:30

My friend will be in college next year, she will be 17 next summer, but graduating. Right now she's in 11th grade. Thank you guys very much for the insight. It's very very helpful. sorry I'm kind of travel retarded but when's off season? Anyways thank you!

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Post by Puppet Princess » Apr 20th, '07, 03:36

They let first years do the exchange program? I thought you had to have two semesters first. Though, I guess it could be different where you are... I just thought they were standard rules.

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Post by Pinkutora » Apr 20th, '07, 03:47

well, since we are student off seasons might not be a convenient thou.. I think it is like in january or february.. Did your friends do some research on study abroad.. there are scholarships for high school students to study abroad.. I don't remember the website I used to go to anymore because that was a few years back.. You guys should really research up on it to see what will give you guys the most advatages.. There are a lot of opportunities out there, so don't just go blindly into it and end up paying too much.. Good luck..

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Post by Pinkutora » Apr 20th, '07, 03:52

Puppet Princess wrote:They let first years do the exchange program? I thought you had to have two semesters first. Though, I guess it could be different where you are... I just thought they were standard rules.
I think there are standards for studying abroad thou.. I don't think first year get to go thou.. Or it is just no one go.. But for the skool I am applying rite now, they won't allow me to go abroad until I finish at least a quarter at the skool, whether it is summer or any other.. What a lame rule..

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Post by spacecommand » Apr 20th, '07, 04:11

If we're speaking on the college level, most colleges don't offer exchange programs until the 3rd or 4th year. Certainly not freshmen.

The only other option is going to a University in Japan, however that process requires applying and getting accepted into a Japanese University or one branched in Japan, if you're going through that much effort one might as well stay for a whole year and or complete your degree there.

If its a high school exchange program for six weeks I'd go for it. Since after that there really isn't an option to do a semester abroad, other than fully applying and getting admitted into a University abroad.

So if its a high school exchange program, go for it, most high school exchange programs come with host families setup etc, six weeks you get to live in Japan, get a taste of how things are etc. More experience than an average visitor might get since, you'll most likely be living with a Japanese host family etc.
And does anyone know where to get cheap plane tickets to Japan? I'm going either this summer or next and am trying to calculate how much I need. I really don't care where I sit, what kind of service. Heck I'll sit in the baggage area. Smile Anyways any info would be greatly appreciated.
You never stated where you are, so its hard to say, I always book my tickets directly from the airlines.

Also are you traveling by yourself? If you are under 18 traveling by yourself, I mentioned before, you might run into a few problems flying (you need permission first), but then Immigration at the Airport might have a few questions to a lone minor traveling alone as well.
Last edited by spacecommand on Apr 20th, '07, 04:14, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by uma » Apr 20th, '07, 04:14

Hi, Let me introduce myself Here, I am Sarah's Friend that is trying to decide about what to do.

My name is susan and as she said I am 16 and in 11th grade. I dont think I would be selected this summer to do an exchange thing because my grades were not the best this past year. ( I had a really hard time in pre-calculus) If I decided to do it the summer after next I doubt I would be selected because I would have already graduated from high school. If I did the study abroad thing I would basicly be doing the same thing except going and getting college credit for it. Also this would be a couple years in the future giving me time to learn more about Japan, there culture, and there language. I would also Have time to save up for this trip and semester ( my parents would not pay for any of it. ) I can NOT do both. This would cost too much!!! I am definitly NOT made of money! If I went with the university I think It would be very much like the foreign exchange. I would be with a host family. In the area we lived in we had some Japanese students come here for there university. I would go for the semester after all of my generals were done.

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Post by spacecommand » Apr 20th, '07, 04:16

If you go on an exchange at the University Level, its a few years down and will give you more time to think about it.

Also note depending on what university you go to, exchange programs might be a summer program, a few weeks or a full semester. That might include or not include a host family. It all depends on the university you go to and if they have an exchange program set up with a Japanese University (not all do).

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Post by phramc » Apr 20th, '07, 04:21

I don't think you stay with host families on study abroads...or do you?

From Utah to Japan probably during summer months (June-August) and I am not sure if I would be travelling alone.

Anyways daijobou susan they don't interview you harshly for exchange programs. you could easily get in with a limited knowledge of japan. Anyways how long are semesters? 3-4 months? Any information on study abroads in Japan would be greatly appreciated.

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spacecommand
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Post by spacecommand » Apr 20th, '07, 04:29

I don't think you stay with host families on study abroads...or do you?
You usually stay with a host family if its a high school level exchange, since I doubt they let you stay by yourself.

At the university level it might be a dorm, or some private apartment housing.

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Post by uma » Apr 20th, '07, 04:33

when The Japanese people were here they were staying with host families, going to school, and where in college.

I dont think It would differ to much if I went there to them coming here.

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Post by spacecommand » Apr 20th, '07, 04:35

Again it would depend on how the exchange it setup between the two universities on if there is a host family or not. Not all universities have the same set up.

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Post by mizune » Apr 20th, '07, 05:29

uma wrote:Hi, Let me introduce myself Here, I am Sarah's Friend that is trying to decide about what to do.

My name is susan and as she said I am 16 and in 11th grade. I dont think I would be selected this summer to do an exchange thing because my grades were not the best this past year. ( I had a really hard time in pre-calculus) If I decided to do it the summer after next I doubt I would be selected because I would have already graduated from high school.
First of all, you never know until you try! :)
If I did the study abroad thing I would basicly be doing the same thing except going and getting college credit for it. Also this would be a couple years in the future giving me time to learn more about Japan, there culture, and there language. I would also Have time to save up for this trip and semester ( my parents would not pay for any of it. ) I can NOT do both. This would cost too much!!! I am definitly NOT made of money!

If you're only going for a homestay, I don't think it's absolutely necessary to know much about the language and culture of the host country before you go. After all, that's why you want to go in the first place, isn't it? I've known several people who have gone to Japan for either homestay programs or to teach English (both JET and non-JET) without knowing much of anything about it before heading out. I think it's standard to receive some sort of cultural orientation program before leaving. After that, it's all what you can soak up while you're there. :)

As for financial issues, some study abroad/homestay programs offer scholarships. There are ways....
If I went with the university I think It would be very much like the foreign exchange. I would be with a host family. In the area we lived in we had some Japanese students come here for there university. I would go for the semester after all of my generals were done.
Exchanges to Japan at the university level are rarely with a host family, so the experience you get will be different than a homestay. It probably depends on the duration of the stay. Anything longer than a summer homestay program will probably get you put ito a dormitory, but I do know there are a couple language-immersion summer homestay programs at the university level. I forget which one my brother went on, but it seemed like a pretty good experience and he still keeps in touch with his host family (which is a lot more than I can say about me... :fear:)

In general, there is a shortage of families willing to take on homestay students in Japan. Some ppl might think that it's because they are a closed society, but honestly, living space without houseguests is pretty tight -- do NOT believe that the houses and apartments you see in dramas are reflective of reality ^_^;;;.

When I went to Japan with Youth for Understanding during high school, I was told that because of the imbalance in the number of Japanese wanting to study abroad compared to the number wanting to study in Japan and the lack of volunteers willing to host students, it was a requirement for the families of Japanese students to host a foreign student for at least the length of a summer homestay in order to be allowed to go abroad. Of course, it generally works out, because the Japanese student in the family gets to closely interact with somebody from the host country they want to visit.
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Post by uma » Apr 20th, '07, 20:16

after going with the understanding youth or whatever do you think that you would get more Japan out of going at a college level or going when your younger?

I am going to look for scholarships...( I was thinking about that this morning! )

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Post by spacecommand » Apr 20th, '07, 20:49

after going with the understanding youth or whatever do you think that you would get more Japan out of going at a college level or going when your younger?
Younger people tend to view the world differently than when you're older. Depends on the person really.

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Post by rikki » Apr 21st, '07, 03:45

As spacecommand has said, at a University Level for Study Abroad, most Japanese Universities do require a minimum of 1 semester of University study before they consider taking you in. I'm planning to study abroad for a year in Japan next year with my university, as I'm currently a first year student.

Most Universities should have 'Sister Unis' that they should have made an Overseas Study Agreement between the two Universities. My university, Griffith University, has Overseas Study Agreements with a numerous amount of Universities around the world, let alone Japan.

It is also recommended that you are doing a course that will contribute towards your degree while studying abroad. This means you cannot study a degree like Bachelor of Information Technology and expect to study abroad in Japan, unless a University on the listing that is linked with your university offers that course for International Students. With my university, the only courses that are offered with Japanese Universities are, of course, only Language Courses. Which fits in with my degree :-)

You will have to perform quite well in University so that your Grade Point Average (as it is called at GU) is at a respectable level so that the Sister University you will be studying at will not have to worry about your attitude towards the material taught.

Going on a Student Exchange is indeed a fun experience as my friend did while in his final year of High School, but his only complaint was that he didn't want to leave sooo early. So think about studying abroad with a University so that you will both have time to experience its culture and, if you are mingling with the people and surroundings, you should be able to speak Japanese fluently to an extent.

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Post by rikki » Apr 21st, '07, 03:48

spacecommand wrote:
I don't think you stay with host families on study abroads...or do you?
You usually stay with a host family if its a high school level exchange, since I doubt they let you stay by yourself.

At the university level it might be a dorm, or some private apartment housing.
Depends on the university you will be studying at really. Some universities offer a Home Stay program in University as well as On-Campus Dorms, Off-Campus Dorms or Apartments (which is, personally, a stupid Idea as it's a VERY EXPENSIVE option)

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spacecommand
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Post by spacecommand » Apr 21st, '07, 04:45

Depends on the university you will be studying at really. Some universities offer a Home Stay program in University as well as On-Campus Dorms, Off-Campus Dorms or Apartments (which is, personally, a stupid Idea as it's a VERY EXPENSIVE option)
It depends on the nature of the exchange, a few days a few weeks for a full semester or two.
Not as expensive as you may think, as universities also have university subsidised apartments for students.
Again Like I said it depends on the university exchange program. Since many universities offer exchange programs at the Junior and Senior level, some people are already tired out of dorms, and much prefer a private apartment (I know I did).

Very few universities in Japan have on-campus dorms, its just the nature of the urban environment and transportation access in Japan. Since the international population of most universities are only a small fraction of the college makeup, and most japanese students commute to school from their own homes (living with parents, relatives, or bythemselves). Its not uncommon for a student to travel 1-2hrs from home to school. So most students on exchanges are off campus, in private apartments owned by the university or subsidied by the university.

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merou
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Little too fast?

Post by merou » May 17th, '07, 21:09

Ok, yeah, well seems like your rushing your ideas and just want to leave to Japan too quickly. Yes, its a fun idea, but take time when planning these things out. I recommend a short trip, nothing too long, unless you want to come back bankrupt. I stayed a short while in Japan, originally was supposed to stay a half-year, but I got tired and came back early. What I recommend is that you wait, plan out your budget, depending on where you go. If you plan on staying there a long time, expect a huge budget well over 30k+. If you plan on staying there a short time maybe a budget of 10k should be fine. Overall you have a while to go, like the guys above my have suggested, usually freshmen cant study abroad, and have to wait, that depends on the college. You might want to check with your study abroad advisor at your college, if and when ya go. Most colleges have relationships with colleges abroad, and I'm sure Japan is on the list. One thing I do recommend though, is buying a round-way trip. Tickets from the US to Japan are usually cheap, but from Japan to the US, they seem to be a bit over-priced. Well, i can go on and on, so if you have any questions feel free to pm me.

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