Nagoya University: Fall '03
I spent spring semester 2004 at Nagoya University. I really enjoyed
living in Japan, and felt the prpgram was a good match for me.
I took Japanese, Contemporary Japanese Society, Edeucation in Japan,
Modern Japan and International Relations, and Migrant Workers in
Japan. These classes transferred back to St. Olaf as four credits,
and the Modern Japan class counted for my history major. (As well
as every class counting for my Asian Studies major.)
I found Nagoya University to be very flexible in which courses you could take. Taking a regular university class in Japanese (in contrast to the program specifically for exchange students) involved a bit of planning, but was definitely possible. Although I didn't end up taking one of those classes, I know several people who did, and they all found it worthwhile. The biggest asset to the Nagoya prpgram was definitely the people. The office staff were extremely helpful, and the professors patient and willing to help. The Education in Japan professor even took us out to eat at the end of the semester. The other students were great; I really enjoyed getting to know not only Japanese students, but international students from all over the world.
My advice to future participants in the Nagoya program would be to join one of the student clubs. Since many Japanese students are rather shy, the easiest way to get to know thn is to join one of the clubs, such as the Japanese archery club, music clubs, hiking club, etc. There are over 100 of these groups at Nagoya Universoty, so take advatntage of the opportunity!