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Sophia University, Japan

Gunawan 3
Tokyo DisneySea

Many people have asked why, when they hear that I will be going to Sophia University Tokyo.

I started my exchange process by knowing that I wanted to go to Japan. After a short holiday, I fell in love with the country and knew that I wanted to go back. UTS has a large number of partners located all around Japan, but I wanted a university like UTS where it is centrally located and right in the hustle and bustle of things. This is where Sophia stood out, with its campus being located right in the heart of Tokyo.ย  I am enrolled in the faculty of liberal arts where all the subjects offered are in English. I will be taking subjects that are completely different to my current course of accounting, such as Japanese pop culture, introduction to sociology and beginners Japanese. I am excited to do something other than accounting.

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The process of applying to Sophia was loaded, where there was quite a bit involved. The application requires a health check up, including a chest x-ray. The university also requires letters of recommendation by two lecturers at UTS, which means the need to find lecturers who are willing to write the letter in a short amount of time. The housing application was quite simple and straightforward, where most exchange students are allocated housing. It was a simple ranking system of the places offered by the university. However, note that since the university is located in the heart of Tokyo, the housing provided by the university is off-campus, about one hour away from the city due to the ridiculous price of property in the city.

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Trying okonomiyaki


The autumn semester at Sophia doesn’t start until the end of September, which is significantly later than UTSโ€™ start of late July. Therefore I will be using this time to go to Japan earlier and do some travelling. I am feeling excited yet nervous at the same time. I think this feeling is unanimous amongst all exchange students. I am excited to be able to experience a new culture and way of living, yet nervous about living on my own for an extended period of time and knowing completely no one.

I am looking forward to the adventure ahead โ€“ attempting to navigate Japan with no Japanese, wish me luck!


Olivia Gunawan
Bachelor of Accounting
Sophia University

Australian Government New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant recipient.

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