I absolutely loved the culture classes, especially the Kamakura trip!

Brittney from Spring 2018

Which events or activities did you find the most satisfying and why?

I absolutely loved the culture classes, especially the Kamakura trip! I was really impressed with Tanaka-san, Ryuhei-san, and Kato-sensei, who all worked very hard to make a life-changing experience for us in Japan. I also was super impressed with my host family and I can't imagine a better match for a host family. My host mother is one of the best people I've ever met, and I hope I will stay in touch with her.

Which co-curriculum classes did you find most satisfying?

The English support I went to every single time (except for one) and I found it super useful and I honestly think I wouldn't have done too well if it weren't for this class.

What were your goals in attending the KCP program?

I wanted to become more independent and I wanted to get a good foundation of Japanese to start my learning of the language, which I feel I succeeded in.

Why did you select this program?

It was always my dream to study abroad to Japan and I feel elated that I was able to accomplish this dream. I liked the idea of the program being intense, as I typically find schools in America do not challenge me, so this was a great challenge for me.

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

I absolutely loved my teachers, English support teacher, and all the staff at KCP. They really do go above and beyond to try to help you succeed and enjoy your time in Japan. The culture class as I stated was really fun and I learned a lot about Japanese culture through this and did some things I may not have otherwise. All the students at KCP are super close knit, which I loved as well. I expect to make a few friends, but hadn't expected all the students to be so close and I feel I made so many lifelong friendships on this journey. The least productive part was probably just a situational thing (I've heard some classes were a bit easier), but my class was full of people who mostly knew Japanese prior, so my self-confidence was a little shot when I was by far the worst person in my class (being that I had never taken Japanese before). My class was really supportive though, and I was able to improve a lot, but sometimes it felt like the class moved based on students who knew Japanese already rather than for a beginner (which I was in the beginners class). I was able to communicate with my teachers, in Japanese, that I have a really hard time with hearing, so I was able to improve on this significantly by the end of the program with their help. They started to say thing for me a little slower rather than just playing the audio tape, which helped me a lot!

What activities or materials did you find most helpful (e.g., pair work, drill practice, tests, small group sessions, textbooks, games)?

I think the conversations were really helpful in class. I think the conversations were most helpful and would have been even more helpful if given more time to think of responses. Games were also pretty helpful.

What did you find most valuable in the Culture Course?

I loved the variety of the culture courses and how many new things you would learn. I loved the lecturers and as I stated, Tanaka-san and Ryuhei-san would go above and beyond to try to show you a good time and educate you on Japanese culture. They were great!

What did you find least valuable in the Culture Course?

I don't have any complaints or least valuable for the culture course, it was honestly perfect I think. Maybe the paper didn't have as much guidance if you were taking it for credit, but I sort-of just assumed the grade was mostly participation rather than content, but I'm honestly not sure.

Where did you reside over the course of this program?


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

I would say to for sure know Hiragana and Katakana before the program, as anyone who didn't know these before they came really struggled a lot, but also learn a few basic vocabulary, as even some simple vocabulary to build upon goes a long way!

Any other comments or suggestions?

Not necessarily advice for the program per say, but advice for Japan in general, I would say to go into it open-minded and try any food item, even if it's a little scary at first. My homestay was an older woman and she served some things that in the U.S. would probably make anyone cringe (whole fish with the head and everything), and in the back of my mind, I was pretty nervous to try it and probably never would in any other circumstance, but I really didn't want to hurt my host mother's feelings by refusing it, so I just went in for it and ate it, and guess what? I actually enjoyed it!

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Past and present students share their thoughts and experiences on studying in Japan.

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In general, I think the KCP program is really great and I’m very glad I decided to do it. It was a lot of work, but I learned a lot, met many interesting people from all over the world, and got to have a very different experience of Japan than the normal tourist.

—Marc Kwiatkowski