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Lowest living costs in Japan? 2008/1/4 08:32

I'm a Canadian undergraduate university student studying Japanese Language and East Asian History who is really, really short on cash (I'm basically becoming an indentured servant through loans for this university degree, I'm hoping I won't regret this too much afterwards) but I still have great ambitions to master Japanese, especially since my research could be so much better if I could read the primary sources in Japanese, so I want to further my Japanese studies in Japan itself.

So I'm thinking it can still be done, but I need to go to a cheap place. I'm willing to live anywhere in Japan (although since many of my Japanese friends are Osaka or Kobejin, I'd rather go in Kansai, but that's really luxury), no matter how remote, as long as it's in Japan and cheap. I envision staying in a small unfurnished one room apartment with tatami floors, sleeping on a bedroll and cooking everything with a rice cooker (that's an added difficulty, for health reasons, my diet is restricted to mostly chicken, fish, rice, pasta and white bread, so I have to cook for myself because I never know what people put in it) As long as where I'm at is safe, there's a university and there's access to health care, pretty much anything is okay.

Up till now, I've found that living costs would be acceptable in Akita. I would be very thankful if anybody could indicate to me other places for me to go study at on a budget. I guess something like... Around, or hopefully below 45,000/month for rent, utilities, food, transportation, etc.

Is that feasible, or am I just better off heading off starting to learn Mandarin and head to China instead? :/
by JF  

part-time job? 2008/1/4 11:15
I actually recommend living somewhere where you could get a part-time job teaching English or similar. Then even if the living costs are a bit higher, you could finance your stay a bit better.

If you want to avoid large cities like Tokyo and Osaka, there are plenty of smaller regional cities with a population big enough for you to get a job teaching English.

You also need to look at where courses are available too- have you found any in Akita?
by Sira rate this post as useful

Thanks! 2008/1/4 13:30
Thanks! On a student visa, I could only work 14 hours a week, but I suppose more would probably just hurt my studies anyway. It could be a bit hard to find an English teaching job like that, but perhaps I can be a tutor (even if I hate charging people like that, but I guess when you have to...) and I know there's not much of a demand for it, but I could also teach French (since that's my first language, but I'm natively fluent in English too, so...) But that's a great suggestion, thanks :)

Well, Akita has Akita International University, incredibly small university with about 400 students and 40 faculty. A university that size makes me think more of a high school, but I guess you could really get to know everyone there. It offers its entire curriculum in English and also has a Japanese language program, so I can spend most of my time studying Japanese and with the extra credits, take some Japan Studies courses, like there was even a Tohoku Culture course!

But I'd still be interested in specific cities. Nagoya University also has a good program for international students that want to spend a year learning Japanese and tuition and such seemed to be affordable, but I wonder about the costs of living there. From what I glanced in the forums here, it's lower than Tokyo and Osaka, but you still wouldn't get far with little cash.
by JF rate this post as useful

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