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“Why You Should C You Should C You Should Choose Obirin hoose

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					                                     Choose Obirin”
                    “Why You Should Choose Obirin”
                          By BSU participant
                    Parsons-                      2005-
             Tamara Parsons-Baker 1 academic year 2005-2006




University: Obirin is great. The campus is well sized with lots to do. There are a million and
one clubs here you can join, whatever your interest, you’ll find a club to suit it. The students
here are all very friendly and interested to speak English with any foreigners they see. The
teachers really care that you do well here and you understand what you’re learning. The class
sizes are small which accommodates a great learning environment, especially if you’re a
beginner at the Japanese language. There are always lots of events, like drama and music
performances and a few festivals too. It has all the facilities you need, including around 10
large computer rooms and an excellent library.


Location:
Location If you want to be near the action whilst having the peace and quiet to study and
relax then Obirin is the university for you. The area around campus is peaceful, with a few
social activities to keep you busy, karaoke, bars, restaurants. It gives you the peace you need
to study and recover from your big nights out in Tokyo. The centre of Tokyo is less than an
hour away on the train, which just enough time to crack a few beers out on the train. Also
Obirin is right between Tokyo and Yokohama, Japans two largest cities, so if you get bored of
one you can just pop next door and check out the other .The campus is rather green as well
compared to most of Tokyo and in April the Cherry blossoms bloom which is beautiful. And on
a fine day here you can see Mnt Fuji, which is pretty spectacular.
Tamara (left) with friends and Mount Fuji in the background



Convenience: The area around university is worth exploring. There are two main
supermarkets, one of which sells everything in bulk and is cheap as chips. Convenience stores
open 24hours for your midnight chocolate cravings or some hot food to warm you as you
stagger back from a night on the town. A park, hairdressers, hardware store and plenty of
second hand stores to root around in. Oh and some great little bars, izakaya, all you can eat
and drink, and did I mention…karaoke?


Price: Accommodation is approx the same amount you would pay a month living in Bath. But
you will save a lot of money on food here. Also nights out are extremely cheap. There is a great
izakaya (Japanese pub) near the station which is all you can drink and eat for two hours for
about 10 pounds a person. There are a few Hyakuen (100 yen) shops, where you can get
literally anything, including food, for 100 yen. Which is about 50 English pennies! A big
discount warehouse full of all the booze you can imagine. Cheap fruit and veg stalls and a
sushi bar where each plate is just 100 yen. In Machida there is bowling, cinemas and arcades
which are also very cheap and a million department stores for all you accessorie dreams!


Courses: There is wide range of courses on offer for the international students which are all
taught in English. You will take a Japanese language class which is compulsory for all
students enrolling in this program. What ever your language level these classes are essential
as everything you are taught can be used outside of the classroom for ordering food, travel and
generally just being able to communicate with the people of Japan. If you feel the class is too
hard or to easy you can move to a different level of class which you feel is more suitable. Then
you can choose what other subjects you would like to study throughout the week such as
Japanese culture, drama, survival conversation and politics. Lots of these courses also offer
day trips out to temples and museums.


Program: The program has been established for a long time and is very structured. There are
not as many international students here as in the national universities, and its because of
this you form close friendships with the staff at the CIS office who are all extremely friendly
and helpful. They arrange trips to for camping, skiing, and weekends out to hotspots in Japan.
The price of these activities is very cheap, and sometimes free! Any problems you have CIS
will have the answer.


Entertainment: There is so much to do in Japan. As I mentioned before there are loads of
clubs to join at the university. These are lots of fun and a great way to find new friends and
pursue new and old interests. If you’re into music there is a huge music scene in Japan and
you want to get yourself into the centre of Tokyo, Shinjuku and Shibuya are my personal favs,
and you can discover the multitude of live music bars there. If you like clubbing then have
your wits about you. There are loads of places that offer you free drinks/shots on entrance. I
once left for a night out with ¥10,000 yen in my pocket and came back with the same crisp
note, unspent, still in my wallet. Its rare to get a totally free night but there are lost of
freebies to be had and all music genres are catered for from cheese to hardcore drum n bass.
Of course theres karaoke, which you’ll find yourself doing more than you think while your out
here and really any form of entertainment you can think of Japan has it, and usually at a very
reasonable price.


Experience: Finally (here comes the cheesy part!) it’s a great place to come for someone who is
just interested in travel and a change of scene. Although at first Japan seems like a mammoth
idea, an alien culture and a more alien language, it really is not a difficult country to get along
in. Tokyo is foreigner friendly with loads of English signs, directions and speakers. Japan is
the safest country I’ve ever been to and most importantly it provides a great learning
experience. This place does not get boring, there is so much to see and it really will change
your prospective on many things. It’s a place that will really open your mind and be such a
worthwhile experience. I was only supposed to be here a semester but very soon after arriving
I decided that it was just not enough time for me and decided to stay a year. However long
your stay though your bound to want to come back at some point in your life, coming out here
was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

				
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