Being fully immersed in a second language was the best way for me to develop my speaking and listening skills

The japanese and Korean flags.
James Keenan
Undergraduate student
Japanese Studies and History BA
James spent his year abroad at Kanazawa University and developed both his language and personal skills while in Japan.

Which University did you spend your year abroad at?

Kanazawa University

How different was the teaching and course structure in Japan compared to at Sheffield?

It was much closer to what I would expect from secondary school or high school with a lot of contact hours, mostly in the mornings. The teaching as well was, on the whole, a one way affair from the teacher to the students.

Has the year abroad helped you improve your language skills?

Definitely, the best way to get good at anything is to do it and being fully immersed in a second language was the best way for me to develop my speaking and listening skills particularly.

How would you describe student life in in your host city?

My dorm was on campus and the campus was a bit further out of the city than I would have liked. However the city itself was amazing with all the staples a student could need. The campus itself felt very modern and well thought out; the cafeteria was always good and offered a wide range of food etc.

Was there a lot to see and do outside of studying?

Within Kanazawa itself I had seen most of the main tourist points within the first month or so, but from bars and karaoke to bowling and specialist shopping, Kanazawa has it all if you look hard enough

Did you get the chance to do any travelling whilst you were there?

Yes, mostly during the new year, spring and summer holidays I was able to travel to a number of cities including: Kyoto, Tokyo, Himeji, Kobe, Nagoya, Hiroshima, Fukuoka, Kita-Kyushu, Toyama, Kamakura and Yokohama.

What skills do you feel you gained from doing the study abroad year?

I think my year abroad, outside of language skills, particularly developed my independent survival skills, adapting to new places or situations etc. I also had to do a number of presentations while I was there both at my job and at uni and my public speaking skills improved.

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