Allison Vogel '09
Studying Abroad in Tokyo
I was one of the lucky students from Mount Union to explore a new world in Japan. I applied to Temple University Japan, which is located in the heart of Tokyo, for my required study abroad experience as a Japanese major. This school is a branch of Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and basically is an American college based in Japan. All the teachers were lovely, and were mostly from America or the United Kingdom. Each had their own personal teaching style, and always taught subjects that somehow related to Japan. The exception to English speaking teachers were the language teachers. All Japanese language classes were taught by Japanese natives; the same with Korean being taught by Korean natives, Chinese, et cetera. The school was relatively small, and I believe they only had 1000 students. It was nice because one got to meet the same people everyday and create a strong bond with one another. It was a really different setting compared to Mount Union. Mount Union is in its own little world, separated from Alliance (like most American colleges/universities). Because Temple was in the metropolis of Tokyo, it had to be placed in a building, just like any other business.
First arriving to the school, I was rather taken aback because I did not realize the building was even a school. In fact, I walked passed the school, and realized there was no where else to go, and then I turned around and saw that this giant building was a school. Regardless of how the school physically was, the classes, teachers, and students were wonderful! With my Japanese speech teacher, the entire class went to karaoke in Shibuya to practice pronunciation through song. My friends would go to local ramen shops (ramen-ya) and other restaurants for lunch. Most of the restaurants in the area are expensive, so my friends and I found the cheapest places when we went to eat. There were tons of options for classes as well such as art, languages, politics, business, and history. They even offered classes about Japanese films and comic books. These classes were fun and brought a new side of Japanese underground culture to life.
There are so many great things about Temple, it is hard to describe everything. I recommend this school with my whole heart, and really encourage students at Mount to look outside of the usual and try something new. I know the experiences I gained will last a lifetime.