Elizabeth Seman '12
Studying abroad at Kansai Gaidai University
Studying abroad at Kansai Gaidai University was the experience of a lifetime. Kansai Gaidai offers so many opportunities for advancement on both an educational and personal level. Opportunities such as the speaking partner program and the home stay option give you a chance to improve your Japanese in unparalleled ways. The teachers are innovative and sincere in their teaching methods; they do all they can to help you get a grasp on the material. In addition, friends are never in short supply to study with. Living in a dorm with the other international students gives you the unique opportunity to study and live with people from all over the world. People are often surprised when they hear how many German friends I made while studying in Japan in addition to my Japanese friends.
Kansai Gaidai is located Hirakata, Japan, a city in the suburbs of Osaka, making it an ideal location for travel and sightseeing. Hirakata is less than an hour by train from downtown Osaka and one of my favorite cities, the beautiful Kyoto. Nara, Himeji, and Kobe are also close enough to visit as a day trip. Tokyo and Hiroshima are also only a bus or shinkansen (bullet train) ride away. I was able to travel to both! I also spent New Years in Tokyo and I had the honor of listening to an atomic bomb survivor speak at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.
Traveling within Japan is easy to plan and the memories you will make are priceless. Hirakata is a lively area itself. There are many restaurants, karaoke shops, and stores to keep you occupied and everything is only a bus, bike ride, or walk away. I couldn’t have asked for a better study abroad experience. The friends I made, places I visited and things I learned will be with me forever.
I cannot wait to go back!