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AMA A Dude Who Studied Abroad in Japan
ArleyV 
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24 / M / Chicago, IL, USA
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Posted 6/16/15

streamhopper wrote:

Nice. I'm hoping to teach there someday. probably when I retire. Did you see a lot of shrines? I always found it interesting that though most Japanese are Shinto, funerals are left to Buddhist tradition. Is that still the case? So many questions I'd love to ask.


My study abroad was on premodern/pre-Edo/Tokugawa Japanese history, so we did many on site trips to various shrines and temples within the Kansai region, particulalry in Kyoto and Shiga prefecture. On my own I went to Osaka various times and actually it was varied with the Shinto-Buddhist mixture. Some sites had both and was common for Buddhist temples to be within Shinto shrines. Others it was separate.
ArleyV 
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Posted 6/16/15

VZ68 wrote:

How's the farming in that area? Did you get to drive a kei truck?



The only agricultural-related things I did or see there was watching rice paddies during train excursions and attend an in-class lecture on local farming in the Bikwako area (main lake that encompasses the Shiga prefecture) prior to modernization
ArleyV 
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Posted 6/16/15

haikinka wrote:

Food. tell me all about the food.


FOOD IS LIFE.
As I mentioned earlier I chowed on so much local cuisine and made a habit to avoid common comfort (American/Mexican) foods. So my personal excursions to Osaka I had takoyaki, okonomoyaki, and kushikatsu, while I also had green tea grown in the Kyoto prefecture and Omi beef, a product from the Shiga prefecture where I dorm at. And also the obvious splurging in ramen (had so many kinds I can't even) and alcohol (beer like Sapporo, Asahi, and Kirin, Suntory whiskey, and sake)
ArleyV 
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Posted 6/16/15

narutosonic330 wrote:


IShouldBeStudying wrote:

Did you study any broads while you were studying abroad?


^^^^^

Did ya?!!


LOL, did make friends with local female students, but I'm happily committed in a relationship
ArleyV 
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Posted 6/16/15

IngramIV wrote:

The big ax question dude. Do schools there have school buses? I mean which pick up the student at home and drop them at school and vice versa.


Nah everyone used public transportation to get to and from school
ArleyV 
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Posted 6/16/15

TheGreatHoneyBun wrote:

What made you decide to study abroad in Japan?


It was the cheapest and shortest (convenient) option since I work during the summer break and also wanted to study abroad regardless of location. I won't deny I have wanted to go to Japan previously, but never related to my studies and fortunate the professor from my university is an expert on the subject and emphasized local history in connection to national one and alternative perspectives (feminist, Korean, peasants, etc)
ArleyV 
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Posted 6/16/15

Charlieandthetrollingfactory wrote:

How different was the style of teaching versus the US?


I cannot fully comment since my professor was from the university I attend in the US so it was English but I did have Japanese lecturers
ArleyV 
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Posted 6/16/15

marklebid wrote:

Did the locals switch to speaking with a Tokyo accent when addressing you?


Nah they all used their local dialect (Im not fluent in Japanese, but could tell the accent) and those that knew English spoke to us in that, though i did learn basic phrases and words out of courtesy and people really appreciate and actually help to the best of their ability if you try
ArleyV 
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Posted 6/16/15

moonbox wrote:

Hey! I'm going to study abroad in Korea in less than 10 days! During that time I plan on visiting Japan with my best friend... I probably won't be able to see much since I'd stay there for a few days. Where should I spend most of my time? :)


Depends what you're into and budget. I stayed within the Kansai region since my dorm was in the Shiga prefecture/Lake Biwa area so I did class and personal excursions to Kyoto, Nara, and Osaka. Also get a JR Pass from a travel agency back home before travel. If short term stay go with the regional pass (in my case JR West). Right now is the best time for Americans since the yen exchange rate is in our favor (it was Y120 = $1USD when I went a month ago, right now Y125=$1USD though gradually dropping).
ArleyV 
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Posted 6/16/15

Mukurowl wrote:

How were you treated by the Japanese and what was it like, studying in Japan?


Well I was aware of the stories towards foreigners and was a bit nervous since I'm of Mexican descent, but American-born and raised. If anything people were much more courteous and respectful towards me since I tried to communicate with my basic knowledge of the language, which they appreciate a lot, and also the Kansai area in general the stereotype is people are generally more friendly and down to earth compared to Kanto which was true in my experience. People did ask me curiosity questions regarding my ethnic background, but as I said I was treated much better there than I do back home in certain parts of Chicago and the rest of the US
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