It has nearly been a year since I came to Osaka University (Handai) for a year of language preparation under MEXT. There were ups and downs, fun lessons and boring ones, and times where I wondered whether this was the right choice for me. But I'd have to say, this year was a very memorable one and overall, it was a great year!
I don't want to forget the times I've had here, so I've decided to start a blog to look back and to record future stuff. Hopefully, it'll be helpful for the future batches! (Before I came here, I was stalking Eustacia's blog about her experience and thought it was a really informative and interesting read! I always looked forward to new posts. But there was not much information about Osaka's side, so I kinda got inspired, but never got to it until now oops...)
So, first things first, let me introduce a post by my current floormate, Devangi! She wrote a really detailed post about the Undergraduate Program and Dorms here in Osaka! Do check it out!
Next, I'm not sure if this is in time for the deadline, but around this period of time, if you're going to Osaka's U-Program, there's an option to sign up for the Host Family Program. I signed up and was paired with a nice grandma who invited me over for dinner around once every 2 months. During some public holidays or weekends, we would travel around Osaka and Kyoto to sight-see! I'm really grateful for this program because you get to interact with the locals and learn about Japanese culture directly from them! Though I heard some friends didn't manage to meet up with their host family much, I'd recommend signing up!
Moving on to the recap! On the first day we reached Osaka, there was a bus to pick us up from the airport to Handai. If I remember correctly, it was about a 2h? drive, with a stop at a convenience store for a toilet break.
**You might want to get some food at the convenience store! The cafeteria wasn't open and the nearest food place is a 20min walk away (not sure if it was open too cause I went to the conbini 15min away for dinner)
When we reached, it was around 3.30pm? (my memory's a bit fuzzy) and we had a briefing about the dorms. 2 months of rent and a cleaning fee was to be paid upfront (total 53,800 yen). After putting our suitcases in our rooms, there was another briefing about administrative things like applying for a bank account, student ID, insurance and schedules. Everything ended around 6pm+. For the following days we went in small groups to settle the bank account and insurance, and went on orientations regarding the university and its facilities. There were also placement tests for Japanese and English for all. The following week, Japanese lessons started and there were placement tests for Economics + Politics and History for the Humanities Students, Chemistry and Biology/Physics for the Science Students.
The placement test for Japanese decides your class and for English, whether you'll take an additional class after lessons. I'm not too sure about the Science students, but the "placement tests" for Econs+Politics and History felt more like surveys; the classes were based on your Japanese language class.
So that's about it for the first two weeks! I'll cover more after our last exam on Monday!