Student Life, Whats the difference?

When comparing two universities from different countries there are so much we can compare. From the past couple blog posts you can see that I have talked about the differences in campus life and the food. However I believe the most interesting and biggest difference is the student life.

Studying! Which ones harder?

The biggest difference between Japanese universities and American universities is the amount of work and studying they do. In Japan most of the students work very hard during their high school days so they can get into a good university. The entrance exams for Japanese universities is very hard and most of the students study hard before college so they can actually pass this test. After they have passed the test and entered a university, they will most likely not do as much studying as they did in high school. Compared to American universities and the amount of reading and studying they do, Japanese universities is NOTHING! (Depends on some people and schools, of course, but most!) Most Japanese students barely study when they enter university and focus more on having fun and doing what they like!

Students in Japan taking the entrance exam. Photo Credit: Mainichi

Student activity

One reason why Japanese students barely focus on work is because their is a thing called Circles you can join once you enter a University. Circles are much more relaxed than clubs and student organizations and cover a wider variety of subjects. There is almost a circle for anything! If you like playing games their is a game circle, if you like fashion there is a fashion circle, and if you like playing sports there are different sports circles. Through these circles you can meet people with the same interest and you can submerge your whole university life in hanging out with the people of your circle. This is what takes up most Japanese university students time. This is similar to the greek life at Furman. You are able to find friends that you can spend your 4 years with and have a connection like a brotherhood. Since In Japan they do not have sororities or fraternities, the Japanese students make a connection with friends through circles!

Members from a Circle in Waseda University. Photo Credit: Sports.Geocities

In American universities, although student organizations are popular and many students are involved, their main focus is academics. The amount of work students do in universities is incomparable to Japanese students. Especially Furman University. Now I know why it was ranked the 2nd most rigorous school in the United States.

Here is a video of students and teachers from Furman University who have experienced both Japanese and American Universities tell what kind of differences they have encountered and what surprised them! Check it out!


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