April 10, 2015

Orientation day

On the orientation day of my university in Japan, I and fellow exchange students had to wake up early because Japanese students would guide us to the campus of Seinan Gakuin. The walk from my dormitory to the university is short and takes 5 minutes which I found very convenient.
We had to gather in a computer room where teachers introduced themselves, gave lots of information about the university and said that we would be guided around the campus. After the introduction, a  Japanese student who studied abroad guided us around the Seinan Gakuin campus and showed us the library, computer rooms, campus convenience store and the gym. Unfortunately, it started to rain and we were unable to go to other places since no one had an umbrella. So we quickly went to the cafeteria which is located just outside the campus to eat and drink. There was a display with plastic food replicas in the cafeteria, so you know what to expect when ordering a dish. I ordered udon noodle soup because it the plastic show model looked delicious. Also, it was fun to talk to other exchange students and to hear what they think about Japan.
Plastic food replicas at the cafeteria

In the afternoon, I had to take a Japanese language test that would assign me to a Japanese class with a certain level. I found the test very difficult because there were lots of Kanji! I expected that there would be hiragana written above each Kanji but that was not the case.  Moreover, I had to use a Japanese keyboard which has different design compared to the keyboard I am used to. For example the space bar and backspace bar were very small. Many exchange students found the test too difficult, especially those that did not understand Kanji. The result of the test would be sent by e-mail later on the day, so in order to kill time I went to a convenience store of the campus. The convenience store at the campus sells all kinds of items that students need such as lunches, magazines and school books. While checking out the products, I felt that some Japanese students quickly stared at me and I felt like a lost alien.  Anyway since I needed money for groceries I had to find an ATM cash machine. Upon finding the cash machine I had to select options on a touch screen which was a bit confusing at first, luckily I could change the Japanese language to English.
In the evening, I went to the supermarket to buy food. Once again I found the products in the supermarket interesting and how it differs from The Netherlands. I bought a bentobox that included rice, fish and vegetables, very convenient for a student. Moreover, I realized that Japanese food and drinks are of course much cheaper in Japan than in The Netherlands. A small bottle pack like Yakult cost me around 1,50 Euros in Japan whereas in The Netherlands it would cost me around 5 or 6 Euros. Or a box that consists of 12 different types of sushis is around 4 Euros compared to 8 Euros in The Netherlands.

Furthermore, I received an e-mail from the university that I would be placed in the Pre-Intermediate Japanese classes. I would have been disappointed if my result would be Beginner level after studying Japanese more than a year.   Therefore, I was very happy with my result and relieved!

No comments:

Post a Comment