CET Japan

Video and Photos

Friends trip to Kochi-ken
Friends trip to Kochi-ken
Building
Building
Castle
Castle
Kimono
Kimono
Friends
Friends
At my Japanese dance teacher's house having a barbeque.
Made dolls out of chirashizushi ingredients during my stay with my host family.
My classmates and teacher at a cooking class.

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

Questions & Answers

Reviews

86%
based on 33 reviews
  • Academics 8.7
  • Support 8.5
  • Fun 8.2
  • Housing 7.4
  • Safety 9.3
  • Housing 9
  • Support 7
  • Fun 9
  • Value 7
  • Safety 10
Showing 16 - 30 of 33
Kazimier
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

CET Japan Summer 2016

If you want to travel somewhere to meet awesome people, go to Japan. The Japanese I met were some of the nicest, most considerate, most helpful people I've ever known, and that made the trip completely worth it. My roommate never hesitated to help me with my homework or show me a cool tourist destination. Some thing about Japan can be tough to figure out at first, and I would have struggled a lot had it not been for everyone going out of their way to help me. The Japanese were also always very respectful to me. I never had to deal with an angry cashier or frustrated bus driver; they were always calm and patient. Putting aside the incredible culture and super interesting language, Japanese people alone are reason enough to go to Japan.

What would you improve about this program?
The full-time language pledge made it somewhat difficult to establish good relationships and friendships with the other American students due to our limited Japanese ability. I think it would be good to have weekly events where we could speak English and get to know one another better.
Bryanna
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Fun with CET Osaka

CET was an amazing experience with a great housing program! Instead of a dorm, I lived in an apartment with a local Japanese student from the same university. I became really close with my roommate & her family and often joined them for dinner on holidays, which really helped me improve my Japanese (and Osaka-ben) outside of class. In addition to CET program activities we did together, my roommate showed me around Kyoto, took me to her calligraphy class (she's attended since she was 4!), and even invited me on a road trip to Fukuoka and Yamaguchi prefectures during Golden Week to visit her father's childhood home. Overall, CET's roommate program is an incredible way to foster both your language learning and life-long relationships on study abroad.

What would you improve about this program?
Although the language pledge is helpful for immersion and faster language learning, some beginning level students struggled with it. Because they had little to no Japanese experience, some said they didn’t feel confident practicing outside of class without first knowing the basics.
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Francesco
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great Experience Overall

I really enjoyed my experience in Osaka. I think my most difficult challenge was trying to learn Japanese from scratch. However, I eventually got over the language barrier thanks to the staff at CET.

What would you improve about this program?
Schedule more time to travel.
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Jesus
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Definitely consider this program!

The summer I spent with this program was life-changing. Osaka is surrounded by so much culture and history that I was continually learning on a day-to-day basis. I could take a stroll around the city and run into the most delicious food I've ever tasted, take a train to Kyoto and visit a famous temple, visit Nara and interact with deer roaming on the streets; the possibilities were endless! Every weekend was a new adventure and the Japanese roommates only made it even better. They are actually the best part of the whole program. Aside from constant language practice at home, they were always so excited to take us out to a new area or organize a get together at someone's house. At first it was hard to interact because everyone had just met and most of us weren't used to the language yet. However, the roommates made me feel so comfortable that I got over my fear of saying something wrong and quickly began to speak naturally. Now the main reason I want to go back is to see them all again. I absolutely recommend this program.

What would you improve about this program?
The gap between the courses offered is too large. For example, the 2nd year class seemed to easy for some people, yet they also did not feel prepared enough for the 3rd year class, so they were in an awkward situation. There should be intermediate courses added, or the curriculum should be modified to account for the difference in ability between each of the three levels.
Read my full story
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Tony
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Growing Up Abroad

This program is by far the best thing I ever participated in. If you are serious about learning a language, then CET is the way to go. The academics are truly challenging, and the language pledge can be difficult for lower level speakers, but if you can push through, you will find your abilities improved tremendesouly in just a short amount of time. I lost a lot of sleep, but it was worth it because i was able to create so many memories with such great people everyday and with the special activities CET plans.

Read my full story
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Theodore
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

CET Semester in Osaka, Japan

I just returned home from studying abroad in Osaka, Japan. While I am very happy to be home, I also realize that I probably will never get a chance to study abroad again. Whether with CET or another program, study abroad is a must do.

I decided to study abroad for the fall of my junior year. It had almost nothing to do with my major, although I did receive credit for some classes that will go towards my major. Before I chose CET, I had taken one full year (two semesters) of Japanese language classes. During my time abroad, I wanted to find a program that would give me the best opportunity to learn as much Japanese as possible. CET, therefore, stuck out as a target program for me. I applied, got accepted, and filled out all my paperwork, got my visa, and headed to Japan.

Pre-Departure
CET's staff did a good job pre-departure of responding to emails promptly and answering all my questions, which I had a lot of. Like all programs, there are a lot of forms to fill out, and CET did their best to help me get everything done.

Post Arrival
Upon arrival in Japan, we were guided by CET staff from the airport to campus. Getting to campus and getting settled in was easy and efficient.

The First Week
The first week was a long week. We had a lot of free time to get used to everything. I was thankful for that time, but it was dull for many of us because our Japanese roommates were still on vacation. I was dying to get out and explore, eat, play club sports, and do new things, but unfortunately I wasn't confident enough in my Japanese skills to try and go out on my own in a city I knew nothing about.

Academics
The first week of classes was an interesting and slightly awkward period. Everyone was at different levels in their Japanese language studies and the teachers had yet to finalize who was in which level class. In addition, every day, we were taken outside the classroom to learn how to do important things in Japan (buy groceries, ride the train, mail a letter). It was interesting and informative, but at times I felt we were a big inconvenience to the locals we were obliged to ask menial questions to.
Nevertheless, I learned basic skills needed to live in Japan.

After that first week, we progressed into our main studies from our textbook. I was placed into the level 2 Japanese class. Once I got used to my professors (先生), I really started to love my class. The pace at which we learned new grammar, vocabulary, and kanji was very fast, but because my teachers were so good, it was easy for me to do my best and enjoy the learning process. I cannot praise my teachers enough (I had two teachers that taught our class each for an hour a day). They were extremely patient, fun, and most importantly passionate about teaching. There was a mutual understanding that improving our language skills was our number one priority. The textbook we used (GENKI 2) was a very well designed and written textbook too. Learning was very straightforwards. I got out what I put in. With five students total in my class, we got a lot of personal attention, which really caters to my learning style. Overall, the Japanese classes were the number one strength of this program. In four months, we completed a full year of japanese. It's amazing how much we improved.

Living/Housing
I lived in a shared house with five minutes away from campus. There were eight of us total, four foreign students, four local students, all attending classes at Osaka Gakuin University. We were each assigned a roommate, but we each had out own rooms. I am extremely thankful that the CET staff (Lauren Nakasato) arranged this for us. Because it was Japan, the space was small and limited, but it was satisfactory. My room had everything I needed(slow wifi/tv/sink/shared kitchen/American style bathroom, showers, laundry machice), although in the winter time it was freezing at night and we were only given one heavy blanket. Because there was no central heating, and because using our heating units were expensive, we were encouraged to tough it out and wear as much warm clothes as possible. But even if I wore everything at night, it was still cold. CET please give your future students more than one blanket. If you are a future student, pack long underwear. It sounded unnecessary to me, but I wish I had it. Other than that, the housing situation was awesome. All the roommates had part time jobs, but because there were four of them, there was usually a local Japanese student around to help with homework, answer questions, or come out with us. My housemates were awesome. My roommate was awesome too. We were all compatible, and I am thankful to have had them around. CET would not be the same without the roommate program.

Osaka Gakuin
The University we studied at has around 5000 undergraduates I think. I never could find the number online, but 5000 is what local students estimated. The campus is nice, small, and has a good cafeteria where you can get a filling lunch for 3/4$ which is great for students who didn't receive any stipend from their home schools. There is also a fully functional, American style gym where you can do any kind of exercise you want (treadmills, olympic squat racks, bench press, dumbbells, stretching room). There are three full time trainers there that can help you if you need a spotter. They are super nice, but do not understand too much english. Nevertheless, I went almost everyday. OGU is known for their sports teams, but not for their academics. Most students do not have homework, and they said that they did not have to work hard during class. But this is completely separate from the studying that we did.

Clubs
Going into study abroad, I was very excited to join sports clubs/circles and meet new people through competition and having fun on the field/court. From what CET told me, and what is on their website (countless student clubs!), I had high expectations. Almost halfway through the semester, I still was unable to join any clubs. CET must change this on their website. It was very misleading. I had brought my baseball gear from America, hoping to play any level of organized baseball. I didn't care, I just wanted to play. But it was clear that the student clubs on campus did not want foreign students with limited conversational abilities to get in the way, which in all fairness, we would have. However, I sent many emails pleading for a chance to try out, and I was able to join the rubber baseball team, which turned out to be awesome. The guys were awesome, welcoming, and nice to me. The hardest part was getting connected. In reality, CET has little to no framework for foreign students to get involved in these clubs. From my experience I learned that getting involved in these clubs comes down to how bad you want to join and how persistent you are. In the end it worked out great for me, but I only got to play for the last two months of my trip. My suggestion for incoming students is to see what your roommates and housemates are involved in and ask to join in with their help.

The City
Osaka is a crazy city. Osaka Gakuin is 15 minutes away from downtown Umeda which is a hub of nightlife, food, and sightseeing. You are also very close to Kyoto, Namba, and other amazing cities, both modern, and traditional. Many students were able to travel as far as South Korea on their three day weekends (which there were many of). Plane tickets are cheap and if you have the time, definitely travel around Japan. Its easy and its worth it. I wish I had travelled more around Japan. This again comes back to how much you want it. You get out what you put in. In the end it is up to you to go out and see Japan. Go for it.

Roommate Program
My roommate and I were a very good fit. Many were not as fortunate. But because most of us lived in shared houses with up to eight people, there was always flexibility between roommate pairs so everyone had someone they could connect with. The language barrier was my biggest issue. I only had a years worth of Japanese before coming to Japan, so it was very hard for me to express myself fully. My roommate knew a good amount of English though so we were able to navigate difficult situations. There were some things we never were able to explain to each other, and it was frustrating, but in the end it was all right. Making mistakes was unavoidable, and it was best just to get over it and move on. My biggest difficulty with my roommate was that it was really hard to figure out what he wanted (what kind of food to eat, where to go, what to do on weekends). We both feared inconveniencing each other, and so we would get into the "anything is ok" conversation loop. I tried to explain that I knew relatively nothing about the Osaka area and that I will do/eat anything, but my roommate was form Okinawa so he also did not know the area. Nevertheless, we had a great experience together. We ended up playing baseball together on the same team. He is coming to America this summer and wants to go skydiving. Lucky me.

Overall
You get what you put in. CET gives you everything you need to start. The clubs experience was frustrating, but I succeeded in the end. It was cold at night sometimes, but I had an amazing time. I saw so much of Japan, learned so much Japanese, and made friends that I will keep forever. I am lucky. Some people did not have as good a time as I did. It all comes back to how far outside your comfort zone you are willing to go.

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Luke
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

CET Intensive Japanese Language Study Abroad In Osaka

Hello. If you are reading this you are probably considering studying abroad in Japan. Congratulations, because this is a good place to be in.

Studying abroad in Japan is a remarkable experience and if you feel that you as a person are up for it I highly recommend it. Everyone who goes abroad will have a different experience but I can assure you that it will be challenging at times, it will be frustrating, it will be lonely, but it will also be incredibly beautiful. Also having CET to help you out isn't a bad thing either.

So, good luck to you future travelers and enjoy your time abroad!

What would you improve about this program?
There where times where I felt that the rigor of the academics got in the way of the experience. I was going to Japan as an art student hoping to take art classes (which I did) but I was surprised at how intense the academics where when I first arrived. That being said, after some time I was able to manage my time far easier and enjoy Japanese life as well as the academic life.
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Grace
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Intense but rewarding

I admit there were times that I felt really frustrated with the program because it was very hard. However, at the same time, it was because the program pushed me so much that I learnt so much Japanese.

What would you improve about this program?
Extend the length of the summer program.
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Jesse
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Do not pass up this opportunity

Before I left for Japan to complete the CET program, I was actually kind of anxious to just "get it over with" and come back home to finish school. By the end of the program however, I could not have felt more at home in Japan.

Everything about the summer intensive program was excellent from start to finish. Classes were Monday through Friday, from about 9am to 3pm with some breaks. Class was challenging. Working through a full year's worth of material in only two months meant that we were faced with multiple quizzes each day, and weekly presentations and essays. Students were expected to come to class prepared, and lesson plans and expectations were clear each week. Although I can only speak for my class, the material was a lot of fun every day and the students really got to know each other. There was an obvious improvement in everyone's spoken and written Japanese ability from the start of the course until the end.

What really made this program special was the social dynamic between the students and the Japanese roommates. I lived in a house with 7 others, and it became the spot for most people to gather after classes and for events. The Japanese students worked very hard to make sure everyone felt included, and group events were planned several times a week throughout the duration of the summer. Having never lived with this many people under one roof before, I was not sure what to expect - but the roommate aspect was easily the best part of the entire experience for me. Every conversation - from how to cook something to experiences growing up - was a learning opportunity. My former roommates are some of my best friends now, and when I return to Japan I will be certain to see them again.

I remember going on a run during one of my last days in the program and reflecting on my time there. I was excited to see friends and family back home, but I also felt like I was leaving a whole life that I had created in Osaka. It is hard to know what to expect when you sign up for an intensive language program, but my experience with CET could not have been better.

What would you improve about this program?
It would have been great to have a little more time tacked on to the end of the program - after classes had ended - to really say goodbye to everyone and visit those final places you had yet to see. We had to move out of our housing the day after the final exam, and even just a couple more days would have been really nice.
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Evan
5/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great Classes, Weak Social Environment

Best Japanese Classes I've ever taken!
Professors have a solid curriculum and will take the time to teach you anything in Japanese you are curious about.
Isolation from university students
Lack of extracurriculars
Japanese roommate was fun and helped me a lot with my Japanese
Love Osaka!!!

What would you improve about this program?
Increase extracurriculars. There are almost none. There was a kendo club, which starts almost at the end of study abroad, a tea ceremony club which would get cancelled regularly and an English teaching club. That's all that I remember, but this is clearly not enough for 4 months, especially when we weren't in any of the classes with other students whom most commuted from home, so it was almost impossible to make friends from the university.
Even if CET cannot find school extracurricular activities, it is essential that CET give students information to different events and activities in the neighborhood and or city. I came on this program to greatly improve my Japanese so that I would be able to work in Japan, so I wanted to make Japanese friends, which was hard to do.
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Nicole
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Truly Rewarding Experience

Overall, CET Osaka was a truly rewarding experience. This program's strongest assets include the intensive Japanese classes and the roommate program. Use it all to your advantage and practice as much Japanese as you can!

What would you improve about this program?
I think the housing facilities could be improved and complaints that have been submitted should be reviewed for the comfort of future participants. I also think clarification about the location of the program would be useful. The school is not in the center of the bustling city, but rather in a more suburban environment, so frequent transportation on the train is something participants need to be ready for if they wish to explore. It was also difficult to actually join clubs because of the difference between the program's timeline and Japanese students' school calendar, so better accommodations for people who are interested in joining clubs would be great!
Response from CET Academic Programs

Thanks for taking the time to write a review on your CET program! It's always wonderful to hear about your experiences abroad and is invaluable to us as we help new students make the most of their study abroad experience. Please stay in touch! Join our LinkedIn group; follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram; and feel free to contact us if you'd like to discuss any aspect of your experience further. -Shelley Jessee, CET staff

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Abby
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

CET Osaka Program

Studying abroad in Japan was one of the best experiences of my life. I have always wanted to participate in the JET program and live and work in Japan, but before studying abroad and spending a year there, that goal felt more like a dream that might not be realized than something that I could actually work towards. I felt so comfortable in Japan and I can't wait until I can go back!

What would you improve about this program?
I would try to focus more on getting the international students in touch with other students at the university. Almost all of the students I met and became friends with were students who were involved in the CET program as roommates or had been in the past. Although I made great friends with these students, it would have been nice to have more opportunities to meet more of the general student body.
Response from CET Academic Programs

Thanks for taking the time to write a review on your CET program! It's always wonderful to hear about your experiences abroad and is invaluable to us as we help new students make the most of their study abroad experience. Please stay in touch! Join our LinkedIn group; follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram; and feel free to contact us if you'd like to discuss any aspect of your experience further. -Shelley Jessee, CET staff

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Liz
7/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A summary of my life and some of my favorite things to do

I lived in a house with 3 other American girls and 4 Japanese girls, each in our own room. We'd cook at home and our house was often a gathering place for the students of the program, Japanese and American. I had about 10 hours of Japanese classes a week with students from CET, and then an additional 2 classes, one in English, one in Japanese, with exchange students from CET and other programs. It was hard to break out of the exchange student bubble and meet other Japanese students.
One of the great advantages of living in Osaka (and Japan in general) is how easy it is to travel, and I spent many of my weekends traveling in Osaka, or Kyoto, or Kobe. While I cooked most of my meals, which meant I didn't necessarily eat a traditional Japanese meal most of the time, there are lots of great restaurants to eat at -- and it's not as expensive as everyone says! Prices are very similar to the US, and there is lots of delicious food to try--okonomiyaki, ramen, soba, udon, takoyaki, taiyaki were some of my favorites. Also, I loved being able to go to a sentou or onsen as often as I liked, almost once a week in my case, and that is one of the things I miss moust about living in Aikawa, my neighborhood in Osaka.

What would you improve about this program?
I really really wish I had been more immersed in the culture. Living with Americans I spoke too much English, and going to school with Americans and other exchange students rather than Japanese made it much harder to meet Japanese people, experience the culture first-hand, and improve on the language.
Response from CET Academic Programs

Thank you for submitting your thoughts on GoOverseas, Liz. We value student feedback and strive to improve our programs based on student feedback. It’s good to know that you enjoyed the program and life in Osaka. The delicious food, fun people and beautiful sights of the Kansai region are hard to beat! That said, we are sorry to hear that the program left you wishing for more connections with Japanese people. We hope that you took advantage of the cultural immersion available to you through your local roommates and teachers. If you have other thoughts of ways that CET can facilitate greater levels of immersion while allowing sufficient time for language study, we would welcome your ideas. Please be in touch with CET (800.225.4262 or cet@academic-travel.com) and ask for the Director of Institutional Relations.

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Amber
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Friends, Language, Adventure

I chose CET for the chance to be roommates with a Japanese student, and to experience Osaka, a city that seemed to be a loud, fun, vibrant counterculture to Tokyo. My semester abroad turned out to exceed all my expectations and left me with heartwarming memories and a whole lot of personal growth.

HOUSING: CET offers the chance to room (either in a house or an apartment) with Japanese students who attend Osaka Gakuin University. I lived in a house with three Japanese girls and two other Americans, about a fifteen minute bike ride down a gorgeous path from school. I believe my housing option was a happy middle between a homestay and a dorm - I had the independence of living on my own (cooking for myself, no curfews, privacy), and the opportunity for cultural exchange with Japanese my age. My housemates became some of my best friends - some of my best memories are small moments we all shared, sitting around the kitchen table studying together, my Japanese roommate explaining kanji to me, cooking American food for our Japanese friends. This sort of housing option operates as a safety net (you probably won't be isolated or lonely very often) and an opportunity to create lifelong bonds. Also, on a practical note, most study abroad programs in Japan require a significant commute to campus, but all of CET's housing is either within walking distance or a 15 minute bike ride/5 minute train ride.

ACADEMICS: CET academics are rigorous and tough; the standards are high, and include about 2-3 hours of Japanese class daily and a research project. You will spend at minimum one hour studying each night. Although I struggled at times, I completed the program amazed at how much my Japanese improved (especially compared to friends who participated in other programs). Additionally, many of the Japanese roommates (as well as people in Osaka generally) don't speak much English, especially compared to Tokyo, so the environment forces you to become comfortable communicating in Japanese! CET also offers electives in a wide range of subjects (I took a history course and an international law course while there). Finally, the interview-based research project is really what you make of it. I felt like it opened a lot of doors for me and gave me an excuse to strike up a conversation with someone I might never have talked to.

LOCATION: Osaka is amazing! Loud, fun, beautiful, DELICIOUS! People are friendly, talk to you on trains, and help you when you're lost. It's fun to explore the different parts of the city, as well as get to know the neighborhood where CET is. The dialect they speak there isn't as hard to understand as some people might tell you, and people get really excited when you can use it. Also, Osaka is centrally located in Kansai so that Kobe, Nara, and Kyoto are all only a short train ride away. Great for exploring!

This program truly challenged me academically and personally. I grew exponentially as a result of choosing CET and thanks to the incredible people I met while abroad. I hope other students consider this program - while of course I cannot guarantee that you will have an experience like mine, I can attest that the CET program provides a strong foundation for all of these positive experiences.

What would you improve about this program?
If I had to chance anything, it would be to loosen the academics a little bit. I really enjoyed that the program was rigorous, and that I was learning so much, but at times trying to balance everything became very stressful. I believe part of it had to do with a difference in Japanese and American education systems - since our teacher was Japanese, I think she criticized us and treated struggle in a very different way than most of us were used to. However, that being said, our class still loved our teachers and they were great in the big picture.
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A.Knight
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

CET Osaka Summer 2013

After having a few study-abroad options prove untimely or too expensive, a friend informed me of CET's Intensive Language and Culture Program in Osaka for the summer. After having approval from my Japanese teacher, and researching the program, I applied for CET Osaka. The price was right, and the length of the program gave me plenty of time to do other things during the summer. It helped fulfill several of the requirements for my major, and counted as 2 semesters worth of Japanese class in only two months. The academics of the program are very intense- unlike other study abroad programs that involved barely any work. My knowledge of kanji was greatly increased and reinforced, as we went through most of the textbook. If you want to learn a lot of kanji in a short time, and are serious about improving your verbal ability in Japanese, this is the program for you.
As for the learning environment, there may be a bit of a learning curve in understanding and fulfilling the standards the Japanese teachers have. They can seem a little strict; and unlike American professors, they do count absences against you, so it would behoove you to attend every class. But the teachers are all very kind and willing to help you, and I am still in contact with my former teachers today.
Osaka is a great city, and should totally be considered on par with Tokyo in terms of culture, shopping, and general enjoyment. Though me and many of my classmates and friends did not get to do much traveling outside of the Kansai region, we had a blast making Osaka our home and becoming familiar with the local culture. Overall, Osakans are very funny, and easy-going people, so it's easy to reach out for help, or extend the hand of friendship. Get out of your comfort zone and immerse yourself in this wonderful place. I can't wait to go back there someday!

What would you improve about this program?
I would make the class schedule or the syllabus available to students ahead of time, perhaps so they would have a better idea of what to expect academically.
Also, a calendar of local events, like summer festivals and holidays might be nice, so that students can better maximize their enjoyment of time outside of class.