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To be an international student in Japan in 2021

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To be an international student in Japan in 2021

My personal experience starting living in Tokyo in pandemic (and in summer).

Lizeth[リセ]

Lizeth[リセ]

Published on 01 Jan, 12:00

As we know, the pandemic brought many changes to our lifestyle, including, obviously, studying abroad.

At the beginning of this year, I knew that I would come to Japan to study with a scholarship, but the question that all of us scholarship holders were asking ourselves was, when?

I started studying Japanese via zoom on Bunka Institute of Language and it was pretty intense, I think I've learned more in the last six months than in the two years I've been studying Japanese so far.

When I finally knew the date I was coming to Japan, I knew that it was going to be a long and complicated process at immigration and it was, I came to Japan in June and it took almost six hours to finally end the process.

But, the real thing didn't start that moment because I had to do quarantine for 15 days. After that not-so-nice stay at the hotel ended I was finally able to meet Japan. But, even though I was already in Japan my classes still were via zoom, and even nowadays I only go to school in order to do tests (once per week).

The nice part of the virtuality

Tokyo 2020 Olympic mascots, Koganei Park. Photo by me.
Tokyo 2020 Olympic mascots, Koganei Park. Photo by me.

Some senior students say that I haven't met "The real Japan" yet since all the time there has been a state of emergency due to the pandemic and everything closes at 8 pm, but for me it has been the best time of my life.

I had more free time because since I didn't have face-to-face classes, and I had the time to get to know different places in Tokyo. And to assimilate the fact that I was far away from home, so my habits and the food I could eat would change and also, most important to realize that I was in a country on the other side of the world.

When August came, I felt my first summer, it was quite hot, reaching up to 37 degrees Celsius and making me suffer like someone who came from a country without seasons.

But at the same time the summer vacations started and even if I didn't have too much money to have fun I went to Kamakura and had my first night stay in Japan, it was quite expensive but I also slept on a futon for the first time so it was worth it.

Kotoku-in Temple, Kamakura. Photo by me.
Kotoku-in Temple, Kamakura. Photo by me.

Studying Japanese virtually

But back to the subject of study, the first exams I had were a disaster, but at least my knowledge of Japanese really improved. When I started studying in April I was a solid N4, nowadays the school is preparing us to take the N2 in December, and surprisingly, I think I have a chance of passing it.

That's why I think that if you want to start studying Japanese in Japan and you can't come here, it is also worth it, I have classmates from Thailand, China and USA that are taking their classes virtually and are successfully learning expecting to be able to come to Japan to do the JLPT here.

The books I've been using for studying japanese.
The books I've been using for studying japanese.

Although the outlook in Japan is rather strict and slow, the pandemic won't last forever and even I got vaccinated here with Moderna. So it is just a question of time that everything comes back to normal, and we all be able to study Japanese normally on a face-to-face basis and enjoy the whole experience of living in Japan.

If you want to know more about anything I've talked about in this article or about my daily life in Japan please let me know, I would love to share anything that is interesting or useful for someone else.

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Lizeth[リセ]

Lizeth[リセ]

Hi! My name is Liz I´m a Japanese goverment scolarship student (MEXT) living in Tokyo. Since I was very young my dream has always been to live in Japan and now that I am fullfilling that dream I would love to tell you about my experiences in Japan and about my daily life as a westerner in Japan.よろしく

From the same writer

To be an international student in Japan in 2021

My personal experience starting living in Tokyo in pandemic (and in summer).

Lizeth[リセ] Lizeth[リセ] · Study · 6 months ago

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