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The everyday classes are the most interesting thing for me.

Tess from 2013

What were the most productive and interesting aspects of the program for you? The least interesting and productive?

The everyday classes are the most interesting thing for me. KCP is a place where many cultures intersect, and learning how to talk about that intersection in Japanese (sharing your own culture and asking about others) is really fascinating.

Were you pleased with the general living arrangements? Anything you especially liked? Any problems you experienced?

Shiraishi-san is the best. He's really accommodating, friendly, and reliable—you can go to him about any problem. He had my broken refrigerator replaced within the day and has fixed my bathroom light. If you're sick, he (or his sister) will give you cold medicine and call your room to check in on you. He can be surprisingly lenient about the meal ticket rule (the "must purchase before 5:00pm the previous day" rule). I mean, you really don't want to take advantage of any lenience because it's an inconvenience to the people who plan the meals (which are delicious, by the way). But if, once in a blue moon, you're really in a bind and forgot to purchase a ticket, if you explain your situation, he'll probably let you buy a ticket late. Within reason, that is. The dorm room itself is really sensibly designed. It's a lot larger than I thought it would be, there's a good amount of storage, and the bathroom is ridiculously easy to clean (there's a drain outside and inside the shower, the floor is lightly sloped toward the drains, and the whole thing is plastic--you can pretty much spray everything down with the shower head). Azeria Kasai II is pretty far from the school, though... You really have to give yourself around an hour and a half to be absolutely confident that you'll get to class on time. It's possible to make it there in an hour, but that's cutting it down to the wire and highly not suggested. And I am so happy I have afternoon classes; the morning rush on the Tozai line is ridiculous, especially between Kiba and Kayabacho. It can seriously be Supporting-Your-Full-Weight-With-One-Arm, Having-A-Human-Corset, Forced-To-Sit-In-People's-Laps ridiculous. Not exaggerating. It's bad. On the whole, I would recommend this living arrangement. But the minute I have to switch to morning classes, I am resolutely NOT going to live here.

Any further thoughts or tips for those considering the program or new KCP students?

1) Think of five minutes early as "being on time." Coming in at the start of class will very possibly be marked late, and coming in after the first five minutes is marked an absence. Do yourself a favor and be on campus at least 10-15 minutes early. Besides, in that time, you can pick up something at Family Mart or the vending machines, and talk with classmates/study in the student lounges. 2) Invest in a combined PASMO/commuter pass. It makes going through the ticket gates much less of a hassle. The commuter pass part of the "master pass" will cover your regular route paid for by KCP, and whatever money you charge onto the PASMO part will cover travel outside your route (even for some non-Tokyo-Metro lines like JR, and possibly buses). Also, some stores inside and outside train stations will take PASMO/Suica as a form of payment (this includes the Family Mart by the Annex). It's good to keep regularly money on your PASMO for these reasons. 3) Go to English support. Katou-sensei is great; she'll answer any of your Japanese questions, and the chapter-related worksheets she hands out are excellent review for the grammar tests (that is, if you make sure to finish the worksheets so she can correct them before the test time, so you actually know what kind of mistakes to look out for). 4) If you have a problem or question, don't hesitate to talk to your teachers or anybody who works in the 1st floor of the annex. They really are good about helping, so don't be shy. 5) Buy a small hand towel. Most of the bathrooms here don't really have paper towels, because people here just generally HAVE personal small hand towels. 6) Follow the train etiquette you learn at orientation.

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Testimonials

If you want a challenge, then this program in definitely what you’re looking for. I came into the program with very basic knowledge of Japanese and am definitely excited about how much I have improved. Learning a language isn’t instant and it takes a while to sink in, but the longer you’re here you become more motivated to utilize what you learn and to continue to progress in your studies. And all of the instructors and office staff are some of the most friendly and approachable people I have ever met. They really make the whole experience quite enjoyable!

Brenna Morlock