Studying Abroad 101: Tokyo Edition

By Kaitlin Hurtado on November 26, 2018

When discussing different college students’ unforgettable college experiences, there can be a variety of answers: living in the best dorm hall, conquering the dining hall with some hacks, or managing to stake a claim on a single library table for all of finals week. One may think of fond memories with close friends or acing a test they put hours of studying into, but many others may think of the memories made off campus through their own study abroad experiences. Studying abroad allows students to take their college experience global – they can study in Paris while eating crepes, or in Tokyo eating the best ramen they will ever get to eat.

If you are currently looking into studying abroad and a foreign city to call your temporary home during your study experience, consider studying abroad in Tokyo. While many European cities top the list of most students’ list of dream study abroad destinations, Japan’s very own capital may be the place you will want to create your own study abroad experience at. If you are wondering if studying abroad in Tokyo is the right decision for you, consider the following to see if Tokyo is the place you want your next college adventure to take place in:

bowl of ramen

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Learn a language by going out 

The city is your classroom when you get to have your study abroad experience in Tokyo. Regardless of if you are fluent in Japanese, or just starting to learn Japanese, you will have the opportunity to practice Japanese every day when you are studying abroad in Tokyo. Learning a language in a classroom can only help so much when it comes to becoming truly comfortable with a language, and studying abroad in Japan can help you immensely in feeling comfortable speaking and reading in Japanese. You can practice your conversational Japanese by asking for directions or stopping to order a quick meal from a street vendor.

Immersion is one of the best things you can do for yourself when learning another language. The more you practice your Japanese as you go about your daily life while studying abroad, the more comfortable and confident you will be with your abilities. With each successful transaction or questioning for direction, you will be working closer to not batting an eyelash to using a language that is not your first.

Indulge your inner foodie in Tokyo

What is a study abroad experience without indulging yourself on all the food your study abroad destination has to offer? Studying abroad in Tokyo is no different – in fact, it is the perfect place to satisfy your inner foodie on a daily basis! Try fresh sashimi and sushi that are nothing like the hole-in-the-wall sushi spot near campus back home. If fish isn’t your cup of tea, try a hot plate of katsu for your next meal.

Ditch the plastic wrapped package of instant ramen for a bowl of perfectly cooked noodles in well-seasoned broth in a ramen shop. Eating well in Tokyo doesn’t necessarily have to equate luxurious fine dining, but it does give you the opportunity to eat delicious meals while still on a college student budget. Hot bowls of ramen will replace your typical fast food of choice from back home, making you wish there was a ramen shop where your favorite fast food joint is back home.

You do not have to go too far to sightsee in Tokyo

Studying abroad in Tokyo grants you access to many sightseeing locations not too far from your temporary home, keeping travel costs relatively low and giving you even more time to experience what you want to. Visit the Roppongi District, where you can explore the best of Tokyo nightlife with bars, restaurants, and other entertainment hubs which are very popular among the Japanese student population. Nightlife not your ideal way to spend your time? Have no worries because Roppongi hosts various cultural centers. Head to the “Art Triangle Roppongi,” which consists of Japan’s largest museum National Art Center, Morio Art Museum, and Suntory Museum of Art.

Take a much-needed breather from your studies and the hustle and bustle of Tokyo’s city atmosphere by heading into nature. Located just within an hour from Tokyo, Mount Takao is a popular hiking destination for both locals and tourists alike because it is easy to access to beautiful scenery and hiking opportunities. Cross the Rainbow Bridge to find your way to Odaiba, another entertainment hub located on a man-made island in Tokyo Bay. Experience the beach, spend a few hours shopping, ride the Ferris Wheel for a beautiful view of the surrounding Tokyo Bay, or visit the island’s hot spring theme park.

Studying abroad in Tokyo is not for everyone, but it may be the perfect destination to land for your study abroad experience.

By Kaitlin Hurtado

Uloop Writer
Hello! I'm Kaitlin, a second year Literary Journalism major at UC Irvine. I'm a writer on Uloop's national team and a campus editor for UCI.

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