CET Japan: Spring 2020 is a time I will never forget. The friendships that were created, the experiences I had, and the academic breakthroughs I grew from makes me want to return to Japan every day. I will elaborate on each area below, but I wanted to provide a summary of my experience in Japan.
I would like to start off by saying that my study abroad program in Osaka was unfortunately cut short due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. While unfortunate that I had to return to America only after two and a half months in Osaka, the CET Administration handled the situation professionally and did what was right for the safety of its students.
While the course load for the CET Language Classes were intense, the growth in my proficiency was far beyond what I was hoping for. Due to the support I had from my professors and newly made Japanese friends, I felt that I was having a great time conversing in Japanese rather than studying all day for lackluster results. Luckily, my housing situation provided a large dining space where many family-style dinners and nights I will never forget took place. The amount of fun and great experiences I had with my loving roommates struggles to fit in this review section. By saying the housing, transportation (especially to sightseeing locations), and safety were amazing, I am doing this program a disservice. Do yourself a favor and apply for CET Japan.
Academics: I studied third year Japanese during my time in Osaka. CET Japan is famous for its rigorous and fulfilling language courses. All I can say is wow. I have never learned so much in such a short period of time. The elements of immersion and the language pledge brought my language proficiency to a level I had only hoped to achieve (keep in mind, the immersion only lasted 2.5 months). While the remainder of the course was moved online, while in Japan I absorbed so much material not only from the great professors but being able to speak Japanese with my enthusiatic-to-help roommates.
Support: While time in a foreign country can be quite difficult, CET faculty and roommates were very understanding and happy to help. Whether it was a mental health issue or having a cold, everyone was ready to lend a hand.
Fun: There were countless nights of exploring new parts of town, singing karaoke till our voices were gone, and gaming sessions in our sharehouse. While I cannot tell every story here, I say one has to experience it for themselves. This was arguably the best time I had during college, if not my life.
Housing: I was fortunate to have my own room with seven other men in a sharehouse. It was located in a nice neighborhood with two fully functioning kitchens, two full bathrooms, and a nice porch in the backyard. Each room had its own heating and cooling, so it could be set to your individual preference. The dining room was the best feature for me. It was great for having gatherings and meals with all my new friends.
Safety: Japan as a whole is famous for its safety. CET Osaka Japan's location was no exception. I cannot recall a single time (even while travelling the whole country) that I felt unsafe.