I've been having computer related issues for a while now, so I'm really sorry this blog has been postponed for so long.
I'm going to try and speak casually here so it is more like we are having a conversation than I'm just writing a blog.
First off! I'm Cody, yes it is a boy's name but I am in fact a girl. I'm a graphic design major and currently studying Japanese in Tokyo, Japan. I'm living in a brand new girls only dorm about 30 minutes away from the school.
I feel like this would be a good time to speak a little about the program because many people don't even know it exists. This is an SHU approved program with Lincoln University as the sponsoring school. Basically you apply to Lincoln who then reports to the actual school, KCP International. This is a intensive Japanese language program, meaning you have one class every day for 3 hours, taught entirely in Japanese. You can study at KCP for 3 months to up to 2 years, so the length of your stay is, to a point, flexible. US Program students have a Saturday culture class where we learn about the Japanese culture and see the city, but it isn't held ever Saturday. There is also an English support class for us on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
You can elect between dorms or a homestay. A homestay is the most popular and much harder to get. I chose a dorm because I wanted a little more freedom in my diet and how I spent my time. For girls particularly, your homestay family will want to know where you are at almost all times. No matter where you stay you will have a curfew (yes, boys too), it is just part of the Japanese culture.
I'm not going to lie, this program is a lot of work. The President of the college said in the opening ceremony, "This is the hardest language school in Japan." At this school you cover a whole year of University language study in three months. And to communicate with the majority of your classmates you need to speak in Japanese. Most of the school is Korean, Chinese is a close second, with American far in the minority. Last week we had a fun portion of class when we learned how to ask what something was in another language. All of the Americans in my class had a line in front of them, I had a lot of fun teaching people how to say "eraser" and "fax".
English speakers come into learning Japanese at a disadvantage on all sides, and you really notice it here. The grammar, and writing style is completely foreign to us. Korean has the same grammatical structure as Japanese, while Chinese student's already know Kanji. Unless you know first year grammar, can speak with the correct accent and intonation, and know 150+ kanji perfectly, don't expect to be put into Level 2. Even people on the borderline chose Level 1 for an even better foundation.
Well it is now 2:20am here, so I'm going to bed. I'll try and write again tomorrow, and if not then very soon.
to visit the school's website: http://www.lincoln-japan.com/
Talk to you all soon!!!