Japan: Zhuofan Chen

Photo of Zhuofan Chen
Zhuofan meeting a dog in Tokyo.

Program: Waseda University Exchange, Year

Student’s Majors: Education

Academic Life: I took Japanese classes, and other classes offered in English fulfilled my major requirements. Japanese classes consisted of 20-30 students, focusing both on input and output. My classmates were mostly English speakers from different countries, both from Japan and other countries.

Advice for Someone Considering This Program: Japan has a totally different culture and history from the United States. You should be prepared for differences from every perspective, and to deal with challenges.

Housing: I lived in a dormitory with other international students from different countries, and we were all interested in studying Japanese. We shared a kitchen, laundry room and bathroom. We always cooked our hometown cuisine for each other and became good friends.

Benefits of Study Abroad: I was able to give a presentation confidently in Japanese, after thinking upon arrival that I was not good at Japanese at all. I realized my personal growth and potential.

New Perspectives: From a personal perspective, I realized my potential and learned to cope with new problems. From a relationship perspective, I learned to cooperate with people from all over the world and to fit in with a new environment as quickly as possible. I learned to embrace different cultures, histories, and religions.

“I am better at adjusting to a new environment and cooperating with different kinds of people.”