Thursday, 16 May 2013

Kyushu University: Year 1

Alright, here's the long-awaited blog post on Kyushu University! I don't think it's a very popular university (I'm the only MEXT scholar here after all), but I really do think that it's one you should consider.

Besides, even though I'm the only MEXT scholar (I think, I mean, I'm the only name I see signing off the scholarship forms), Kyushu University is the fifth largest university interms of foreign students. They're private students or on scholarship from their own governments, but that's a minor minor detail (apart from the fact that I'm the only foreign student that didn't have to take an entrance exam).

Like the last sentence implies, applying to Kyushu University was pretty easy. After I submitted my choices to Monbukagakusho and got the "you may apply" reply, all I had to do was wait. Why? Because Kyushu University has no entrance exams or interviews (MEXT scholars only). For those of you who dislike interviews and/or exams, this is a huge huge plus.

Since I'm a first-year student, I'm currently studying at the brand-new Ito campus (I'll transfer to the Hakozaki campus in the second half of the second year, but that's another topic). Ito campus is new and absolutely beautiful.

Amazing view(:
Of course, this amazing view is made possible by the fact that the campus is elevated (on a mountain-ish thing?) and near the ocean. This means WINDY. I'm getting glad for it now that the weather is heating up, but I don't want to think what it's going to be like in winter. On the bright side, I hear that winters in Kyushu are short.

If you're wondering about student support in Kyushu, worry not at all! Apart from regular student support (There's a support center for the year ones, with seniors who will advise you on classes), there's extra support for us foreign-students. That comes in the form of an extra-orientation (also included: how to make friends with Japanese students), KUIFA (a sort of club for foreign students and Japanese students to mingle), as well as 日本事情 (nihonjijyou - Japanese affairs), a class that's targeted at foreign students (and aimed at helping them make friends. So it's half foreigners, half Japanese students and all fun).

Classes are actually quite fun (although I'm not sure how I'm going to fare for Latin and Ancient Greek, considering that it's taught in Japanese :p). And um, unlike last year, I'm now in Golf. I highly recommend golf as well. I think my first few friends were made in golf (among the fellow newbies).

The only thing that I can think to mention about classes is that I have to take two languages - English and one other (I'm taking Chinese) - I do believe that this is the same for at least Osaka University and Tokyo University though (or at least, I have impressions of my friends having to learn at least one foreign language). And that we have a 専攻日 (senkouhi - specialty day) once a week, where I go to the Hakozaki campus for classes on economics.

If you have any questions on Kyushu University at all, please tell me in the comments(: I'll try to answer them right away, and really, they'll help me with what I should blog about the next time I update you about my awesome school.