Japan: Ivy Chen

Photo of Ivy Chen
Ivy making washi paper with her classmates for a final exam in her Japanese class.

Program: Waseda University Exchange, Academic Year

Ivy’s Majors: Education Policy Studies and Psychology

Academic Life: Exchange students at Waseda University belong to their School of International Liberal Studies and classes were available mainly in the humanities. Exchange students are required to take at least 6 credits of Japanese classes. I also took classes about American literature, American movie development, biological and cognitive psychology, and Japanese history and culture. My classmates in Japanese classes were international students, and my other classes were a mix of Japanese and international students. Professors at Waseda are mainly Japanese, and some of them are from other countries. Attendance is crucial for grades.

Housing: I lived in a residence hall and I didn’t have a roommate. Most Memorable Moment: Taking a field trip to Kamakura city with my classmates in my Japanese art and lifestyle class.

Advice for Someone Considering Waseda: For those who just want to experience Japanese culture, one semester may be enough, but the academic year program provides you more time to live in Japanese society and learn more deeply about Japanese society. In my experience, classes at Waseda University were generally not quite as tough as in Madison, so I had some personal time to explore Tokyo and Japan.

New Perspectives: I became more independent and self-regulated. Because I was living in a new country and studying on a new campus, I had to take charge of all things and contact my advisors in Madison to update my course choices. I also enjoyed stepping out of my comfort zone and traveling throughout Japan.

“When facing problems or different perspectives, I will be more accepting and understanding.”