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Sister Universities? 2008/9/3 23:11
I plan to enrol in Japanese Studies at degree level at Sheffield University (Yorkshire, UK) and in the third year I'll be going to Japan for a year at a 'sister' university. I know this might be a long shot, but does anyone know whereabouts in Japan the 'sister' university might be? I hope it's in Hokkaido. It probably isn't, but I can hope :)

by SMEGfridge  

Start at Sheffield 2008/9/4 05:15
I think the place to ask is your home university, otherwise it's a long task to try and find out from the other end. Wait a sec. A qick Google has revealed it is MENJI University!
Too easy
by deemacvee rate this post as useful

:) 2008/9/4 06:47
Thank you. I didn't know it would be that easy :) I now know to google before I ask.

I've never really been keen on inner city life, but studying in Tokyo is starting to look exciting. I hope student housing doesn't match Tokyo's normal expenses :/
by SMEGfridge rate this post as useful

More than one! 2008/9/4 07:58
Hi there, I'm a current student at Sheffield University, and there is more than one sister university, as there are quite a few students, and only 2 can be sent to one particular university. I'm currently about to enter my 3rd year, and will be spending my time at Seijo University in Tokyo.

However, there are many more universities, such as Kyoto University, Doshisha, Waseda, Keio, Meiji, ICU, Sophia, Tsukuba, Kanazawa, Nagoya, Ryukyu (Okinawa), Akita, Yokohama, Hiroshima and probably a few more I've forgotten! You can choose whether you want to study in or outside of Tokyo, and if there's a particular university you would like to study abroad at, then that's usually possible. If you have any more questions about it, feel free to ask!

Hope that helped :)
by Rachel rate this post as useful

... 2008/9/4 16:00
Hi Rachel. I've heard you get the choice of either studying at a uni or working for a year in Japan, as long as you're 'furthering your fluency'. Is this true.

Also, I'm just wondering what kind of approach Sheffield takes on learning Japanese. My french classes were just 'look, hear and remember' and I crashed and burned :(

Thanks for replying :)

by SMEGfridge rate this post as useful

Well.... 2008/9/4 21:39
No, unfortunately you can only study at a university. Although as part of the student visa you can work as well if you want to, but that depends on whether your university allows it, as some don't like their students to get jobs. Plus you can't work for the first three months, it's a restriction as part of the student visa, but after that it's no problem.

Being a course that starts from the very beginning, assuming the learner knows no Japanese at all (as was my case) it's a very intensive course. But as long as you study enough, it's not too much of a problem IMO. No, it's not quite like how you learned French. There's an emphasis on the speaking side, being 2 classes a week where the teacher gets you to practice pronunciation, and changing basic verbs into the many different verb endings there are in Japanese, and just speaking in general. I didn't like it at first (it takes a while to get used to the patterns) but it's a very useful class! There's also a kanji class, where they go through which kanji they want you to learn for the week. There's also a weekly kanji test, which counts towards your final grade.

There's a grammar class a few times a week (3 I think?), with a handout so you can go over your notes. There are example sentences with the grammar in them, and the teacher (Nagai-sensei) gets students to read out the sentences and translate them. It's a bit daunting at first (or at least was for me!) but you get used to it. We don't use any particular books, just those handouts, so it's important to keep them organised or it's hard to study... trust me!

The teachers start speaking in Japanese more once you know more grammar and vocabulary, but only to the level that they've taught you - they're good at that! There are also a few listening exercises a week, but not so many, and the exams are based more on reading and writing, with listening only being a small percentage of the overall grade. Also, for the first year, you are not tested on your speaking at all.

In terms of homework you get a weekly 'sakubun', which is a composition in which you write about a topic they give you using the grammar and vocab you've learned, so they can see whether you've grasped it or not. There's also another one where you answer questions, like fill in the blank and stuff like that. Make sure you do the composition, as it counts towards your final grade! While your first year grade is not important for your actual degree, it makes a difference for your year abroad, as if you average a 2.1 or above you are eligible for a scholarship, which will be very helpful for living costs. (400 a month, with a 700 "settling in fee" when you first arrive in Japan)

All this information is about the first year, as the second year changes slightly. It was a lot... but I hope the information was useful for you!

Oh, and you may not have looked at the sister universities I wrote, but there is one in Hokkaido, as that's where you said you want to go. I think it's Akita.

Anymore questions, feel free! :)
by Rachel rate this post as useful

Kanji 2008/9/4 21:50
Oh, and when I said there were no particular books, that was for grammar. For kanji there's a book, ''Basic Kanji Book'' volumes 1 and 2, and it's quite useful, and that's what you use in the kanji class.
by Rachel rate this post as useful

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