From September 11-12, all exchange students at Keio had to attend orientations. Luckily, I live in Hiyoshi International House, where you have a roommate – so, of course, I tagged along with her to get to Mita Campus (otherwise I would’ve gotten horribly, horribly lost). On the train, we met another student from Germany and just chatted. We were the only ones on the train talking. Everyone else was on their phones. It’s kind of unsettling how no one talks, considering the amount of noise on public transportation back home.
It was a 45 minute ride from Hiyoshi to Mita Station, and a 5 minute to the campus. So it takes almost an hour to get to school. Not looking forward to this. Miss how close our dorms are to classes back in NC.
On the walk to Mita, however, rain was POURING. Now I love rain, but when you’re walking with a bag full of important documents and orientation information with shorts and velvet flats on, rain is not your friend. My legs and shoes were soaked and I’m pretty sure my umbrella was leaking water or something because, even though I carried a drawstring bag that was supposedly securely covered by the umbrella, all the paperwork inside was soaked. I was so sad. I like things in perfect condition.
I don’t really remember much about orientation itself, except for how we all were surprised by…having to go up to the front of the huge room to introduce ourselves when our university names were called. And I was the ONLY one from my university so double the embarrassment. There were a ton of people from California, Germany, and France. And a ton of business students, too – from CUHK and Copenhagen (why doesn’t Kenan-Flagler have a business exchange program in Japan then? It would’ve been better for me if they did…)
Afterwards, we had our “official campus tour” through KOSMIC, the international club on campus. It was. Uh. Not prepared very well, since they were reading off papers and unsure of where to go. I don’t think we even explored enough of campus to actually be able to get around. We finished early and went to the cafeteria for food. I wanted to save money, though, so I didn’t buy any (it’s actually probably cheaper to eat in the cafeteria, though).
The food that my fellow tour-goers got looked really good though. I need to try the Keio Power Don sometime. The egg looks so yummy~. Since I didn’t eat anything, I just went off to the Media Center to copy my residence card, which I had to turn in to the Student Affairs Office. The Library at Mita Campus is really pretty and very noticeable – it’s the only building with a sculpture in the front.
There was another orientation on campus after lunch, which I really don’t remember about. My schedule says it was about “Life on Campus and in Japan” and “ITC Guidance,” though. Then there was yet another orientation in another room for Hiyoshi International House, Plume IS, and Shimoda residents. More paperwork was given. And I freaked out because I didn’t bring enough photos of myself for the forms. Luckily after….one hour after orientations were finished, I met Keini, one of my friends who was an exchange student at my university last year. He helped me find a booth (in the middle of the street lol) to take official[esque] photos in.
Sadly, I hated my picture, but it was $5 so I dealt with it.
Since I hadn’t eaten at all that day, we then went to ガスト (Gast) to eat dinner. Well, just for me to eat, anyways. I got one of the cheapest things on the menu, which was a hamburger with egg, potatoes, green beans, and carrots. It wasn’t too bad. It was ok.
Sorry if the page is a bit cluttered. I do so love my photographs. Of food.
After Gast, I took the train back to Hiyoshi, made a quick stop at Daiso, and then headed home.
JLP Testing and Orientations Part Two
And wow is this post going to be long.
The Japanese Language Program opening ceremony (really not formal – it was just a short talk before testing) was at 8:45 so I woke up at 6 a.m. Surprisingly, it wasn’t that difficult for me. Must be the jet lag.
Now, the test (for anyone who’s interested and wants to attend Keio) consisted of three parts : 表現 (expressions), dictation, and reading. The first few pages of each part are easy and the questions are harder at the end. (All three parts of the test were on huge pieces of paper, too, like twice the size of normal copy paper in the US) I felt pretty bad at the end of the test, since some things I had learned before, but forgot how to use. I’m worried about where I’ll get placed.
After testing, there was another orientation, but this one was actually kind of enjoyable. A faculty from the business section of Keio talked to us about her culture shock experience of moving from the Philippines to ICU (a university in Japan) to Syracuse to Hawaii. She had a very nice personality and laughed. A lot. But she did what good presenters should do (I recall memories of my business communications class): tell lots of stories, repeat things, and engage the audience. It was probably the orientation I actually paid attention to.
There was nothing left to do in the day after orientation, so I just hung around with some people I started talking to. When the scholarship talk finished, we went home together, since we all lived in Hiyoshi. For dinner, we made a stop at a smaller branch of ガスト, which….was ok. I liked the one near Mita more.
I got to try natto for the first time! It’s supposed to be “an acquired taste,” but I honestly didn’t think it was that bad. At least at first. When you start eating more and more of it, it starts tasting funky. But. It’s not like the most terrible thing in the world.
And that was basically the end of my day. Onto Ikebukuro next!