CET Japan

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About

Ready for Japanese learning in everything? Enroll in an intensive language class. Live in a furnished Japanese share house with local roommates. Take on out-of-class projects and interview locals. The CET Japan program is designed to maximize language improvement and covers at least a full year of university-level Japanese each term. The flexible curriculum includes options for electives in Japanese or in English. The cozy campus is just 15 minutes from downtown Osaka. Weekend trips and group excursions take you off the tourist map, to hot springs, a re-created ninja village, or a ropes course in the mountains. Japanese language learners of all levels and majors are welcome to attend the fall and spring programs. The summer program has a full-time language pledge and is open to students with at least 2 previous semesters of Japanese language. Ideal for Study Abroad and Gap Year students.

Highlights
  • Small, intensive language classes
  • Cover a year's worth of Japanese each semester
  • Out-of-classroom projects & learning
  • Dedicated class segment to help you adjust to daily life in Japan
  • Electives in Japanese or English

Related Programs

Questions & Answers

I believe it is possible to get through the program without knowing any Japanese. The program can be overwhelming due to the language pledge and not being able to communicate effectively at first can be hard, even for people who've studied plenty of Japanese language but not gone to Japan before, but I know there was a student in my program (Fall 2019) who went in with no Japanese and passed the...

I participated in CET Japan's Summer term which ended in early-mind August, so I was able to return to my home institution for the Fall Semester and continue like normal right after. My university has a credit checklist for study abroad students which will show what programs and classes are approved for credit at the home institution. So, after making sure that the courses I was in were on the...

Reviews

8.62 Rating
based on 37 reviews
  • Academics 8.6
  • Support 8.5
  • Fun 8.3
  • Housing 7.4
  • Safety 9.3
  • Housing 9
  • Support 7
  • Fun 9
  • Value 7
  • Safety 10
Showing 1 - 8 of 37
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Ava
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Osaka is like home!

This is a great program for those who want to acquire Japanese language, as well as experience Japanese culture while also getting to learn about it in a class setting. Due to the language pledge that all CET students take at the beginning of the program, students are more likely to acquire the Japanese language. And I loved living with Japanese roommates. It was a great way to practice the language and learn the customs. And they really help you feel at home in Osaka. I had to leave early due to the COVID-19 situation, but I can't wait to go back!

What was your funniest moment?
My funniest moment was hanging out with my housemates in our kitchen. We colored my hair and just joked around and laughed ourselves silly.
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Camille
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Autumn, Season of Plenty

Going to Japan really helped me learn more about what kind of person I am and how countries are fascinatingly similar despite outwardly completely different.There are parts of it that I love that I can only find here. I loved the sleepy Hayao Miyazaki-esque neighborhoods with their winding roads that could lead to unexpected sights, like an unexpected cafe or a small park.
Seeing all these different places helped me feel less conscientious. At times it felt very lonely being one of a few Americans and when I first came here, I felt helpless and nothing really made sense to me. Now that I have left Japan, nothing is quite the same. I’ve learned from embarrassing and difficult times and become a more confident person. The world has become a much wider and more vibrant place, and I find myself eager to explore it.

Academics: There is no doubt you will improve your Japanese. They take their academics very seriously in this program. In addition to the immersion, there is a language pledge to discourage English speaking, and they also require one-on-one teaching in addition to the regular curriculum and excursions, but a schedule is given every week so it is not hard to know what to prepare for.

Support: The staff and roommates were always very kind and happy to help. If you had a problem or concern, they were happy to set aside some time to talk it over and offer advice if you wanted it.

Fun: Karaoke nights, eating out, and excursions were really fun times for me! Even if you cannot speak that much Japanese, it's not hard to participate and get swept up into the fun. It was a good time to relax from studying, try new food and bond with others.

Housing: As long as you keep it clean, the room I had at Lavianne was pleasant to stay in, though the bathroom leaked a bit. You cannot open the screens of the windows but the room had a functional kitchen and refrigerator. The sister apartment, Arabesque, was not the same quality, I heard. One of the students living there had to clean up after a previous messy tenant and had gotten ill from a filthy AC unit, and the units are much smaller in comparison to Lavianne.

Safety: I felt it was much safer to wander in Japan than it is here in the US, particularly after dark. I often saw children unaccompanied by adults playing by themselves in parks as the sun sets and it was not unusual for my roommates to be out very late. In addition, CET takes their safety very seriously and reports via LINE chat if something changes or is amiss, and are available if you are in serious trouble.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
Anglerfish liver sushi. I wanted to try everything unusual, and this certainly served, unexpectedly found in a kaitenzushi restaurant. It's a little hard to describe, except a little strange, like ricotta cheese with an oceanic flavor topping sushi rice, but the flavor was rich if you want something much heavier than otoro sushi.
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Jared
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Take Me Back!

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.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Do not be afraid of new experiences. Be open to everything; whether it be food, travels, or meeting new people. Everyone in this program is caring and wants to have a great time with you. Do not be shy and let the fun take over.
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Alex
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Growth and Enjoyment in Osaka

I'll be co-opting the format used by Oliver for my review, because his seems quite well organized, and because he and I spent about 85% of our time in Osaka together, so our reviews will probably be rather similar.

Academics: 9/10
It's fairly obvious from the get-go that CET is a very academic-oriented program, which takes itself very seriously. About 3 hours of class per day, with 1 one-on-one class per week, and the option to take elective courses with the rest of the international program at the school provides a really great environment for academic growth. I came into the program with a pretty solid foundation in Japanese, and was placed into the level 3 class with two others, making us the largest class in the program, with the level 1 class having a single person, the level 2 class having 2, and the level 4 class having 2 people. This is actually where I found my only issue with the academic portion of the program: level 3 seemed to be a catch-all for people that weren't novices, but also weren't nearly fluent. I was the top of my class by a good margin, while there was one person in my class that probably shouldn't have been, and noticeably slowed us down. However, I was clearly not good enough for the level 4 class, while this other person was clearly above the level of the level 2 class, which made for a rather awkward class environment for us in level 3, because we were all at pretty distinct levels. That aside, the academics were very good. The academic director of the program even offered us a kanji workshop twice a week for those of us who wanted to get ahead in our writing, though I was the only person that took her up on the offer. Still, it was one more great academic resource that I was very happy to make use of. And the electives we were able to take, while outside of CET jurisdiction and thus not really a reflection on them rather on the school, were also outstanding. My religion elective class went on a number of trips to important religious historical sites in and around the region, allowing for even more growth.

Language Pledge: 7/10
You'll find that I have a similar opinion to other reviewers in this regard. CET is very strict about the language pledge, which while good academically, is not so good for the people in the lower levels in about every other situation. The level 4s could basically only hold real, in-depth conversations with eachother, the program workers, actual Japanese people, and sometimes me or one other lower-level student, if the topic was something relatively common. The level 1 student could express themself only through one or two-word sentences. Essentially, while I like the pledge for what it is and for the growth I was able to obtain through it, I think it could maybe have been a little more lenient on the lower-level people, who often felt very isolated when we went out as groups, because they couldn't really participate in the dialogue.
Housing: 4/10
The housing wasn't great. I lived in Lavianne, an apartment complex in Ibaraki, which is two stops away from Kishibe where the school is. That's actually not a detriment, I thought the location of my housing was really good. Sure, sometimes it got annoying that half the program could literally walk to the college, while we had to make a 30-40 minute commute by train, but we lucked out in having a great mall nearby, and a great running path. The real issue I had with the housing was that it was a tiny old apartment being shared by two people. When we arrived, my roommate and I found both of our chairs broken and had to wait for them to be repaired. We slept on futons 3 inches away from one another. The bathroom was a plastic room in the corner with no ventilation, and the shower leaked for the first 3 months. All in all, it was a generally uncomfortable living situation, though luckily the program keeps us so occupied, and there's so much to do in Osaka, that we never had to spend overmuch time in the rooms.
Roommate: 9/10
I was very lucky in that my roommate and I got on like brothers from the get-go. We didn't argue a single time, we had set times when we both had to be in the room no matter what, to go over schoolwork and so I could ask any questions I had, we had set nights a week when we ate dinner together no matter what. Even when he got a job and became much more busy, he always made sure he was there for our arranged times. We even got into the habit of watching Japanese reality TV together once or twice a week. I only give this a 9 because some weekends he wouldn't come home until the next afternoon, which was kinda scary, and because I know that not all roommate pairs were as close as we were.
Safety: 10/10
Japan is weirdly safe. We often passed elementary school aged children walking to school alone in the mornings, something which would never fly in the US, especially in such a large city as Osaka. I spent a semester in Bilbao, Spain, and the difference was night and day. Even though nothing ever happened to me in Spain, a number of people in my group were assaulted or robbed, and I never felt quite safe walking alone at night. In Japan, though, I could walk through the seediest part of Shinsaibashi or Nanba, the nightlife districts of Osaka, alone and at night, and never feel unsafe. Sure part of that is that I'm a 6'2" man, so I'd probably feel safer than most regardless of where I am, but the fact remains that it always felt safe. Even with all that inherent safety, though, CET went above and beyond in their preparing us for the city. We had a number of safety orientations at the beginning to tell us exactly how to get by and how to be safe in Japan, and I always felt that the coordinators and program leaders would answer the phone if I felt unsafe for any reason. I really can find no fault with the program as far as safety. If you need proof that Japan is safe, my friends and I missed the last train in Shinsaibashi one night, and instead of hanging out and waiting till morning for the first train, we just walked home. We walked 14 miles home, through 3 or 4 smaller "cities", started at midnight and arrived home at about 6am, and not once did any of us feel unsafe.
Fun: 8/10
Not much to say in this regard. It's an intensive academic program in a foreign country. You'll have your fair share of work, but also an even greater opportunity to explore and experience new things. The program hosts a number of amazing trips, the trains connect virtually the entire country, and the nightlife in Osaka is great. There's always something to do, for those willing to search for it. Plus, all students at Osaka Gakuin University get free access to the school gym, which is a great gym that's often not too busy. Sometimes it'll be filled with like 30 high schoolers just sitting on the machines, but for the most part it's essentially empty.
Food: 10/10
If you like Japanese food, you're in luck, because this program does, in fact, take place in ?Japan. There's easy access to literally any food you want, and if you can't find something, there are grocery stores in most areas. There's even McDonald's, Taco Bell, and other American bad food restaurants that are easily locateable if you get homesick for horrible food, like my friend did.

All said and done, it's a really great program and I'd recommend it to anybody who wants to immerse themselves in Japanese language and culture and come out far more knowledgeable than they went in.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
There are a couple contenders, but the most unfamiliar thing that I ate with relative frequency was chicken heart. It's just a pub food in Japan, so whenever we went out, we inevitably ate some skewered chicken hearts. It made me a little queasy to consider at first, but it's really quite good once you try it.
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Oliver
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

In Depth Review of CET Japan

Academics: 10/10
I came into the course having studied only one year of beginner's Japanese. The first day you begin, you take a CET evaluation exam (note: not practice JLPT; that comes later). I want to note for future students that it is very important that you emphasis to the academic advisor what level you want. Originally I was placed into the level 1 course, but after talking with the academic advisor I was placed into the level 2 intermediate class. Level 1 was a bit ridiculous since I know for certain I scored quite well on the initial evaluation which was why on the second day when it came down to taking the Practice JLPT (which is CET created and only an hour), I was offered to take the N4 practice with the level 2 and not the N5 with the level 1.

Maybe it was due to our program only having 8 people total, my class only consisted of myself and one other person. Other classes were also similar: the most people in a class was the level 3 with 3 ppl and the fewest was with the level 1, only 1. Class schedule was usually 2 hours a day with a 3 hour day and then a 1 on 1 once per week. I studied from Genki II and we usually finished one chapter a week. For those interested in the textbook used for level 3 and 4, level 3 used Tobira, and level 4 I have no clue although I heard they did use a lot of raw text.

You also have to do a poster presentation: honestly not even that bad, just really annoying. But I will say presenting in a different language to the president of the school really puts into perspective a knew meaning of confidence. I had some friends who absolutely hated the poster presentation, to me I will admit I kind of liked it.

Language Pledge: 6/10
I think one of the biggest reasons people choose CET Japan is mainly for its language pledge. While no doubt the language pledge was one of the reasons why I chose CET, it did become a little ridiculous. Little background of myself: I'd done a language intensive program with a language pledge before in Beijing with Duke in Beijing the summer before so I think I am a little bit qualified to give my opinion about this matter.

Although staff did uphold the language pledge to a very strict standard, I felt it was sometimes too strict. Maybe because our program consisted of only 8 people, in order for any of to really be able to interact with each other, it sometimes became necessary to use English. I think the biggest challenge was especially talking to the level 1 students. Because they had never studied Japanese before (including Hiragana and Katakana) if we wanted to talk to them, English became necessary. Also, since I'd only studied Japanese for one year before coming, I also rarely spoke with the higher level students, and they with me. But since the program was so small I ended up speaking some English just to feel somewhat sane. I'm not sure what the program can do on their part, maybe by increasing the number of people (but that is beyond their control) or maybe even eliminating the level 1 class entirely? I know in my Duke in Beijing program, they did not have any level 1 class just to avoid this problem entirely.

Housing: 3/10
I think for all of us, the biggest strife was with the housing. CET used two buildings during my stay: Lavianne and Arabesque. Lavianne is more of an apartment setting, meaning you literally leave with your Japanese roommate. There is a bathroom, washing machine, kitchen, and a tatami room. It is also about 2 train stations away from the school. Arabesque is more of a share house meaning you kind of have your own bed and tiny stove/sink with (depending on the room) a curtain separating you and your Japanese roommate. You can walk to school from Arabesque

I lived in Lavianne, and the main problem was that it was very old and very tiny. The bathroom sink constantly leaked and the toilet barely flushed. Also, the ventilation in the bathroom was very poor. When it comes down to bedding, I slept in the tatami room in a futon literally 6 inches away from my Japanese roommate's futon. Sometimes I thought that the room was really only for one person, and that the program only chose that apartment to save money. I've included some pictures below.

Arabesque, I think it can be fair to say that everyone living in Lavianne was always immensely jealous of the people living in Arabesque. The rooms were more private and more modern. However, Arabesque had their own problems. I had one friend come down with a quite serious illness due to molding in the AC unit that had failed to be cleaned for years. In the words of the AC unit cleaner according to my friend, he had never seen an AC unit that dirty in his line of work before. Also, the program provides a 5000 yen stipend each month for each individual roommate in Arabesque (it was 7500 for each roommate pair in Lavianne). Somehow, every individual in Arabesque manage to exceed this stipend in quite large excess (this was never the case for us in Lavianne and in the end I heard that a lot of the excess Lavianne stipend was used to cover the Arabesque people). I had a friend who swore this was due to the inefficiency of the heating unit and after he stopped using the heat entirely in the whole month of November, was he finally able to go below the stipend. He was the only one I know who managed to do it in Arabesque. However, since I did not live in Arabesque, I don't think I can judge too much since I wasn't there.

Roommate: 9/10
So, as a preface, Japanese people generally do not live with roommates. As I previously mentioned in Housing, people in Lavianne lived with their Japanese roommates as opposed to Arabesque where some people had their own rooms, and some people had one huge room separated by a curtain. To tell you the truth, I think the people in Lavianne had better relationships with their Japanese roommates than the Arabesque people. Maybe it is because you are literally so close to your roommate, you and him/her are forced to kind of work it out together. However, on the Arabesque side, I heard that often times roommates would really ignore the students and kind of do their own things. This became kind of a problem because you are paying for your roommates rent (they get "free housing" through you) and when your roommate who is supposed to help you get better at Japanese is not there, it becomes an unequal trade off.

To put it quite bluntly, I think this roommate problem is partly due to the ranking of the school. I had a friend search up the rank of Osaka Gakuin University OGU (the college affiliated with CET) and it ranked something like in the 500s in Japan. Thus, the Japanese students there were not really of a high studious caliber to put it bluntly. Just to put some perspective on the roommate situation in Arabesque, we had one Japanese roommate kicked out 3 months into the program due to excessive partying in the house, and another who was seemed way more interested in his Korean studies and took to speaking and interacting more with the Korean international students (CET is just one of the international programs at OGU, there is another exchange program happening at the same time) and in short neglecting his responsibilities to his American counterpart.

However, I will say that if you have a good roommate, it can really be the difference in improving your Japanese. My roommate and I always got along well, and we often spoke. He was studying English and was pretty good at it, probably the best amongst all the Japanese roommates. Thus, if I ever had a question, I could ask him anytime and he could respond in English if I did not understand. I know that some other roommates literally knew zero English and I wonder if that was a criteria CET wanted when considering Japanese roommate applications. This is where I mean that the Language pledge being not helpful: sometimes it really is necessary to use English to explain some more complex Japanese material. Also, CET's has a policy of resolving roommate conflicts by allowing roommates to resolve problems within themselves with CET acting as an intermediary. Whilst I won't say this is a bad system, it does certainly elevate the status of the roommate above us when we also consider the Language pledge in effect. For us American students, if we had a problem we will generally avoid dealing with it until when it really got bad because 1. we don't want to offend our roommate by saying something mistakingly with our bad Japanese and stressing an already tense relationship with them (remember, they have never had a roommate experience before!), and 2. even if it got really bad to the point where we have to confront our roommates, we would still be unable to say anything since our roommate did not understand English!

To be quite honest, I believe CET should be looking for more higher English ability roommates. I know it sounds counterintuitive to the Language Pledge, but I think it is a necessary evil and something that is like one step back, two steps forward: whilst it goes against the pledge, on the other hand it allows roommates to become closer and then through that allow for more interaction and then more Japanese. I think I am a clear example of this benefit: of all the students there I believe I improved the most-- and this is not just my opinion but on my final practice JLPT test score as well-- and that was because I actually interacted with my Japanese roommate.

Hearing all this, you might think, why do I give it 9/10 if I have so many opinions on the matter? Well at the end of the day this is my experience, and my experience was quite good. Sadly, I believe my roommate is a little busy next semester so he is not doing it to the best of my knowledge, but big shout out to Yukihiro!

Safety: 8/10
Honestly, I think Japan is probably the safest country in the world and I would often even leave my door unlocked at night because of how safe it is. However, the reason why I did not give it a 10 is because I did have female friends who were harassed by Japanese men randomly on the streets. However, I don't have much to say about it since I believe the program did everything they could to protect us and sometimes things are just out of your control. I will say however that at night people do walk alone by themselves and you will often see grade schoolers (1st graders) go to and from school by themselves. Take it as you will, but I still think that for a girl, Japan is still probably the safest country in the world.

Fun: 7/10
I think a lot of people go into the program thinking that there will be a lot of work (I did!). But really, homework is really manageable, maybe 2 hours a day. However, I know that the 3rd year and 4th year classes had pretty decent chunks of homework, how much I do not know. The program does have an overnight trip and a few scattered one day weekend trips and about once a month your class will go on a field trip for some hands-on experience. Also, Kyoto is literally 20 miles away or like 30 minutes by train so I suppose you can go have fun every weekend if you want. However, for me, I just thought Osaka was a little bit boring and Kyoto, whilst interesting, got boring after a while too. Personally, I went to Tokyo for a three day weekend, and if I were to chose again between a program in Osaka and Tokyo, I would have chosen Tokyo.

Food: Meh
Found it a little too late that I am not that big of a Japanese cuisine kind of guy. I don't cook so this was obviously a problem. However, I will say that I did eat Indian Curry almost every day in Osaka, for those interested it is called "Seema Curry" located in Ibaraki, near Lavianne. I kind of do want to flex a little and say that I became a regular there and I would often get free ice cream or nan or soup if I so desired (I was that good!). Otherwise I picked up my meals at the Aeon Mall (two minutes from Lavianne); there is a KFC and a McDonalds but I would say the KFC is really meh whilst the Mc D is awesome. Also, there is a fourth floor of restaurants on Aeon Mall which you should look into, and a supermarket for all those Gordon Ramsays out there.

Gym: 9/10
For all you trying to get swole, you're in luck. You can use the school gym for free and it is actually quite impressive. However, why I did not give it a 10/10 is because you will need to buy new shoes specifically for indoor use only. Also, you may at times have to fight over equipment with the high schoolers who are always either there in packs, or not there at all. However, I would really stay away from the trainers, I don't think they know what they are talking about, but that is my opinion only.

Also, if you live near Lavianne, if you run around the entire Reitsumeken University Campus behind Aoen mall, 1 lap= 1.1 miles exactly. So that's pretty convenient.

Bottom Line: 7/10
If you asked me "would I do this again", probably not. The housing was just way to substandard, and the overall cost of the program a little bit too expensive for me to afford it again. However, if you ask me "would I recommend this program", then yes, I would. I think at the end of the day, an experience is what you make out of it, and for me I think for those who are really interested in studying Japanese would really serve to benefit out of it. Furthermore, there is really something spectacular about studying in Japan, specifically in the suburbs of Osaka. You will use Japanese constantly because most people in that area do not speak very good English.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I think I would have made my Japanese goals even more clear to the academic advisors. I came in with the purpose of only improving my Japanese, disregarding anything else. However, like I said, homework was only 2 hours each night. I think I could have done much more and improve even more but maybe due to past feedback, the teachers tend to shy away from giving too much work. However, if you are like me and are interested only in Japanese, I would highly recommend you in letting the Academic Director know and literally telling her straight up where you want to end, maybe even specifically stating the textbook you want ie. "I want to finish Genki II as well as half of Tobira". Remember, the program is for you.
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Eric
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An Unforgettable Summer of Friends, Learning, and Fun

CET Summer Japan was an invaluable experience for me. I had always had in interest in Japanese language and culture, and so I thought that CET was the perfect program for me in order to increase my Japanese language proficiency. I was apprehensive at first and a little worried my preconceptions and exceptions about Japan, but CET's staff (on and off-site) were all really great and helpful! They were always available to help in any situation and I felt safe knowing they looked out so much for the students.

The academics were challenging, but definitely doable. Having class for 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week can be exhausting, but thanks to this, I learned so much. I'm glad that we were taught "survival Japanese" because we were able to use so much of the material we learned in class in real-life situations. People may be apprehensive of their language proficiency going up, but I think no matter what level of Japanese you're at, I think you'll gain something from participating in CET. I was able to enjoy my time outside of class and go explore the sights of Osaka, even on days I had class. If I could give one piece of advice to prospective students, I would say to plan out what you want from the program. How do you want to spend your time? 70% studying/30% playing? 60%/40? Having this in mind definitely helps to manage your time and ensure you get everything you can while on the program. Of course being in another country is exciting, but schoolwork is also important. It's up to you to decide how you want to spend your time there and I think finding a balance that's right for YOU will ensure the best possible experience for you. Looking back, I definitely would have liked to spend a little more time on homework, but I was also was able to meet some of the greatest people and become great friends with them from spending time with them.

My favorite thing about the program was the people I met and the friends I made. I never once felt scared of messing up in class or outside because I didn't know how to say something in Japanese because everyone was so kind, understanding, and willing to help! I would definitely participate again if I could and would recommend this program to anyone looking to meet new people, improve their Japanese language proficiency, and to anyone interested in Japanese culture.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
I think the most nerve-wracking moment was walking out of the doors after signing the language pledge. Having to only speak Japanese all the time was stressful at first, especially when I felt the need to convey something important. Over time though, chatting with my roommates, in class, and with other students on the program eventually helped me to feel more comfortable speaking Japanese everyday and it felt a lot more natural after getting adjusted. By using Japanese so much in everyday life, I was able to make friends and connect with Japanese people on a level I didn't think was possible, and am glad to have participated in a program with a language pledge. It may be intimidating at first, but as long as you make an effort, you'll do great!
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Kathryn
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

(C)ET PHONE HOME

I couldn't stay long enough. I absolutely loved my time in Osaka, from the people I met to the places I went I loved it all. Starting with academics, and like most other reviews, CET does not hold back in the intensity of their programs. The Language Pledge, staff, and students all pushed me to improve beyond just the language and into my life skills. I personally struggled with managing work vs. play, especially balancing basic needs and knowing when to take a break. But, when I look back at the end of the semester I can see that I did a pretty good job overall. And although the heart of the CET programs is their language pledge and host staff/D.C. staff, it is truly the language partners/ roommates who influence your experience. They are the core people who will help you grow and be with you throughout your semester abroad. I can never express how grateful I am to all the people I met during my time in Osaka!

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I needed to go out more. I got too wrapped up in the grades and surviving that I did not take the time to be a crazy, wild, free college student and to live. I was always jealous of my classmates who seemed to go out every day and still have time to do homework, meanwhile I would spend my weekends "relaxing" when I should have pushed myself out of my comfort bubble to go explore more of Osaka. As a result I missed so many opportunities for growth, adventure, and bonding with everyone. This is my biggest regret from my time abroad.
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Katie
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

What I Learned from Immersion

I knew signing up that the program would be work-heavy and very intensive--and it was! We were at OGU for five hours a day, four of which were dedicated to class time. On top of that I did homework for 3 - 4 hours a day. Of course, depending on what you want to get out of the program, this can vary. If your intentions are to learn as much as you can and really take advantage of the resource of academia, then you will be doing lots of homework and pushing yourself mentally. If your goal is to explore Japan while getting a little learning on the side, then perhaps you will do less homework and more adventuring. Personally, I really wanted to improve my language skills, so I spent more time on homework and studying than other students. I would advise incoming students to know exactly what they want to get out of the program before going into it. In studying abroad, you are going to want to do everything--try all the foods, visit every cool shop, make lots of new friends, get straight A's, and still be able to sleep. Well that's tough. Prioritize your time with what you most want to do; figure out what is most important. Maybe making a lot of local friends is more important than spending time exploring the country. Keep that in mind when you plan, because it's impossible to do everything. The summer session was 9 weeks, which might sound like a lot of time, but for an entire country, it's miniscule.

What was your funniest moment?
I went into the city to do some homework--I often found a new cafe to study, because it gave me a chance to explore a little everyday. At that cafe, I was planning on ordering a fruit smoothie. The word for fruit in Japanese is 果物 (kudamono). Unfortunately, the stress of ordering in Japanese caused me to mix up my words. So instead of "kudamono" I said "kodomo" (子供)....which means child. So I literally said, "may I have a child smoothie." I immediately realized my mistake and corrected myself, apologizing to the confused worker. We both laughed about it, and, while it was an embarrassing moment at the time, makes for a funny story now.