Not the end

This semester went by so quickly! Especially with the work I have been doing for my digital communications class, where we made our own blogs and group projects, where we filmed and edited a video and recorded a podcast. Before starting this class I have never thought I would be able to do any of this. However if you start with wanting to improve yourself and learn new skills, I found that nothing is impossible. We are in age where everything is becoming digital and we have to adapt to it. Taking this course definitely helped me become a digital person.


My blog I made for digital communication

I created this blog with the intent to show the differences I have encountered here at Furman. I have never written a blog before and didn’t know if I could even make a relevant one. However after doing multiple readings on how to become a better writer and learning tricks like hyperlinking and adding images to make it more aesthetically pleasing, it gave me the confidence to write and publish something on the internet!

Videos and Podcasts

Editing videos was something I have never thought of doing. I loved watching youtube and seeing the cool videos they make, but I never thought I could be able to edit one myself. Same with podcasts. I would listen to many podcasts but never thought of making one myself. Learning the editing software and making little changes like the audio and transitions was something that made me realize that these little things is what makes a GOOD video and a not so good video. Here is the video and podcast our group worked very hard on.

I really enjoyed learning these new skills and am confident to say that I can use all of these skills. I am now able to edit photos on photoshop, edit videos on Adobe premier elements, and edit podcast on audacity. After learning these skills and producing content of my own, I realized that nothing can be finished. There are so many things you can improve on that nothing is really fully perfect. I will continue to post on this blog as well as polish up my personal website, so I can use it in the future!



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!

What to eat?

“What do you wanna eat?” Thats a question we college students all ask to our friends on a daily basis. When you are in college you have the freedom to eat whatever you want without your parents telling you anything. You can eat as much junk food as you wish! In an American university most schools have a place like a dining hall where there is a variety of food and you can eat as much as you want, similar to a cafeteria, and also a place where there are some fast food chains on campus. At Furman University, we have a Dining Hall and the PDen, similar to a food court where you can find fast food chains such as Chik-fil-A and Moe’s, and a restaurant called Tupelo Honey, which is also located in downtown Greenville. There are so many options to eat on campus.

This is not the same in Japanese universities. Since we don’t live on campus there aren’t as many places where we can get food on campus. Most Japanese universities have a small cafeteria and a convenience store on campus. However because there aren’t as many options to eat on campus there are more than a lot of options to eat off campus. When you step outside of campus there are cheap restaurants and fast food chains surrounding the campus in a walking distance. Especially outside of Waseda University, you can find any type of food you are looking for for a student friendly price.

You can find convenience stores like this in academic buildings in Japanese Universities. Photo Credit: You can pass

Which ones better?

Which one is better though? From a health perspective eating on campus at the dining hall is much more better than spending money and eating off campus. At Furman University, Bon Appetit Management Company provides us with the delicious food and uses some ingredients from the local Furman Farm.  They try to make all of the foods healthy and nutritious for college students who tend to eat unhealthy.

Locally grown vegetables on the Furman Farm. Photo Credit: Furman University

Eating off campus at Furman is better for you, compared to eating off campus at Waseda as well. Many of the restaurants located around Waseda are cheap quick foods that tend to not be concerned with organic or healthy foods. On the other hand, near Furman University you can find many places that offer healthy nutritious restaurants that also use local foods. Check here for some cool spots to eat! This is probably due to the culture difference where the United States are more sensitive to organic and healthy foods.


Campus life: Yay or Nay?

Live on campus?

“Whats it like living on campus?” Thats the first thing that my Japanese friend asked me when I got to Furman. The biggest difference I encountered was being able to live on campus. Back home in Japan, I would take the train for about an hour just to get to campus. There is nothing but academic buildings and a cafeteria on Waseda’s campus. Nobody lives on campus. Nobody. So, being able to live on campus and be 5 minutes away from my classroom is a change that I love. Being able to live on campus with everyone else and live independently has given me a great sense of responsibility. Here are my top 5 things about living on campus

  1. You can WALK to class.
  2. You don’t need public transportation to get to campus.
  3. You can use the facilities that the university offers any time.
  4. You can hang out with your friends all day.
  5. Its just fun!!
Living independently is one of the best parts of living on campus

Living independently is one of the best parts of living on campus. Photo Credit: How To Adult

As you can see living on campus can be a great aspect for your 4 years of university life! But, after living on campus for a couple of months there is something I found out. Because it is so useful you rarely go out off campus. You stay on campus and do not explore off campus, because you can find everything on campus! This leads to another problem. Public transportation.

The beautiful campus of Furman University. Being able to live on campus here and study is a blessing! As you can see cars are an essential part of studying at Furman.

Got a car?

Although living on campus can be enjoyable you can findanything on campus, there are times when you want to go off campus and have fun outside. But how do Furman students go off campus? They have to have a car. Furman is a big campus and you need a car to get to places off campus since there is nothing in walking distance. For international students or exchange students it is hard getting off campus because most of us do not have cars. Another problem is that there is barely any public transportation here at Furman. There are buses in Greenville, but do not stop inside the campus. In Japan you are able to go almost anywhere without having a car because of the amazing public transportation system we have.

Cars are essential at Furman

Cars are essential at Furman. Photo Credit: Redshift Autodesk

This is one of the biggest problems, I experienced when I came to Furman. Without having a good public transportation system it is hard for me to even buy groceries, or go out on a Friday night. Just having a bus that goes to certain places in Greenville on an hourly schedule will help students without cars. There are shuttles that take you downtown, but it is very inconvenient and most students do not know what time the shuttle is running.

Overall, living on campus is great! You have your friends, class, and anything you need where you live! However if you want to go off campus it’ll be a little hassle if you dont have a car. So, for anyone who will be living on campus: Go buy a CAR.

Photo Collage Credits: Apartment (Top Left) – Shuntaro Yoshida/ Cars (Top Right) – Shuntaro Yoshida/ Rose garden (Bottom Left) – TeenLife/ Bell Tower (Bottom Right) – Omicron Delta Kappa


United States University v.s. Japanese University

University. I am pretty sure we all wish to experience life as a university student. The campus life, meeting new people, having the freedom, learning what you love, whatever the case may be, we all dream of attending a university at some time of our lives.

The exciting campus life that everyone looks forward too. Photo Credit: Tapshield

The exciting campus life that everyone looks forward too. Photo Credit: Tapshield

Well, does that experience change according to the country? Heck yea it does! How do I know? Well, I am a Japanese student who goes to a university in Japan, AND a university in the United States. I am an exchange student studying in the United States for a year, and after attending school in the United States for about 6 months I can tell you, its different than Japan.  First, let me tell you about the 2 schools I go to.

Furman University

A beautiful view of the lake on Furman University

A beautiful view of the lake on Furman University. Photo Credit: fineartamerica

I am currently attending Furman University in South Carolina. It was ranked 2nd in the United States as the most rigorous school and it is also said to have one of the most beautiful campuses in the United States. Pretty cool, right? Well, I am fortunate enough to spend a year here as an exchange student. There are more and more Japanese students studying abroad recently. You can check more of it here!I already breezed through half of it and noticed some differences here and back in my home university. Let me tell you a little about my university back home.

Waseda University

The famous statue of Waseda University founder, Ookuma Shigenobu. Photo Credit: Jewishbusinessnews

The famous statue of Waseda University founder, Ookuma Shigenobu. Photo Credit: Jewishbusinessnews

Waseda University. Located in the middle of Tokyo, Japan, it is considered as the top private universities in Japan. I am attending the School of International Liberal Studies department in Waseda University. Oh yea, thats one quick difference compared to Furman, we have to pick our majors before entering the university. We choose what we want to major and enter the department beforehand. So, if you wanted to major in political science, you would have to be accepted by the political science department of Waseda university. Thats just one small difference.

Here is a little slideshow showing a little of both life in Waseda and Furman! Check it out!

After experiencing a little life on both universities there are BIG differences and small differences that I want to share with you guys so be posted!!

Learn more about studying in Japan here!