Yeah! Meccha Holiday

UC Berkeley |Japan Women's University | Osaka University

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Beware of

Grammar and Japanese Pedagogy- Shoji
The actual content of her classes is interesting, but she talks SO MUCH it’s pretty hard sitting through them. Grammar has a huge workload so it would be best to split up the work with others.

Japanese Society- Watanabe
Basically all we did was have a different person give a presentation on whatever aspect of Japanese society they were interested in, and every week without fail, he would proceed to argue with everyone’s main points and tell them they were wrong. Pretty annoying. 

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Recommended Classes

Why don’t you study Osaka- Shimamoto

If you need easy units, you don’t have to pay attention in this class or even go to the “field studies” class trips, all you have to do is turn in a 2 page essay about anything at the end and you’ll get an S

Composition- Yamamoto
He’s really funny and shows interesting videos and the worksheets are very challenging, but he’s not a strict grader. There’s only one real composition, but I still feel like this class improved my writing.

Kanji- Nakanishi
He’s the only teacher who made kanji interesting, and as long as you study for the quizzes, you will get an S

Kanji or Listening- Lee 
She’s a J Program alumna so she learned Japanese just like the rest of us. Which is why she is very good at explaining things and introducing aspects of Japanese culture. However, she is a very strict grader and can be a bit abrasive so a lot of people didn’t like her

Interpretation and Translation- Ogura
His classes are interesting, but his teaching style is a bit intimidating. He takes his classes very seriously, as if we were all aiming o become professionals in the field, so Its very nerve wracking. He really likes taking foreign students on adventures around Japan (mountain climbing, hiking etc) so if you like that kind if stuff you should try to meet him.

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Attendance is a huge part of grading here. Since most teachers are used to students who only need units and don’t care about their grades, the grading can seem a bit harsh. However, the grading system looks like this:

90- S
80- A
70- B
60- C

And both S’s and A’s show up as a regular American A on the UCEAP transcripts. I really wish someone had told me that earlier! Since each class only meets once a week, you can skip quite often (especially on different days) and get straight A’s. and if you’re taking classes Pass/No Pass I guess you don’t really have to do anything. By the way, there are no pluses or minuses.

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The office makes very short notice announcements, often to to the point where it causes big problems.

For example they didn’t tell us there are certain days you aren’t allowed to move out of your dorm until the last week of classes. Make sure you book your ticket to go home on a WEEKDAY that is not during obon or be sure you have someone to stay with.

Also, if you’re like me and love planning ahead, tough luck. You don’t get your class catalogue until the week before classes start and then you have to get your schedule approved by your advisor and turn it in by the end of the first two weeks of classes. You also won’t know when exactly your breaks are until you get your catalogue so making travel plans far in advance is difficult.

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Things I wish I’d known earlier

There are surprisingly few chances to meet Japanese people, so try to join a circle or something as soon as possible.

You can send packages from the dorm 1 office

There are a ton of JLPT resources in the CJLC library.

In Toyokawa (one station away, within walking distance) there is karaoke, bowling, darts, etc and even a bath house called Sumire no Yu which I really liked. Half price for women on Thursdays. Not many foreigners go there though.

If you live in the K-dorm, utilities are included so you can blast the heater/air conditioner. I think that goes for all dorms. But think about the environment! Summer is pretty tough without the air conditioner but winter was pretty doable with sweaters and blankets.

The gates to the campus close at 12 but you can climb over them. Or, if you follow the gate by dorm 2 the fence just kind of stops at some points so you can simply walk around it.

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Last day with my dance circle! It was so sad =[

They even gave me a present!! A book of messages written from everybody T-T

Going to miss them so much.