And I’m loving it!
Every day has had its challenges, from using Tokyo’s complex (but very efficient) train system or trying to navigate the local supermarkets and convenience stores with a limited understanding of Japanese.
Leaving Australia on an early Spring morning gave me a bit of a shock when I arrived at Narita Airport in the evening because I hadn’t expected the weather to be as hot and muggy as it is. The end of summer in Japan is quite different from the dry heat of Australian summer, but I got used to it within a week.
Following the advice of former UTS students who went on a student exchange to Japan, I bought the bulk of my essential goods in Japan instead of bringing them over from Australia. Daiso is an absolute lifesaver for exchange students, and I was easily able to buy almost everything I needed for a good price.
A few days in, I realised I had a big problem. The power adapter I had brought from Australia wasn’t compatible with my laptop, and I would have to buy a new charger lest I spend the entire five months without my laptop.
I took this as an opportunity to visit Akihabara, Tokyo’s famous “Electric City” known for its huge market for technology, video games and anime. Internet reviews suggested Yodobashi Camera, a technology store said to have just about any electric product you need. Upon visiting the store, I realised that was not an exaggeration. It was without a doubt the largest tech store I had ever seen. In fact, that made it a little hard to find the section selling power adapters!
The large selection of arcade games and merchandise later turned my trip for a charger into a low-key shopping spree, but it was very fun!
Although the semester hasn’t started yet, orientation has kept all of us exchange students busy. Thankfully, Meiji University has been very helpful in giving us a smooth transition through its student volunteer system, making it much easier for us to handle government forms such as residence cards and learning our way around the university.
The class registration system is a little more confusing than UTS’s pre-registration system, but I think it’s very interesting that week one of classes are essentially a trial run for us to decide if we want to carry on with the course for the rest of the semester. From here to the end of my exchange, 私, がんばります
Bachelor of Global Studies
Australian Government New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant recipient.
For more information about the UTS Global Exchange program please visit: www.global-exchange.uts.edu.au