My First Month at Kobe

My name is Satomi Yokota, and I am a senior at the Foster School of Business, majoring in Finance and CISB.  I am currently studying abroad through the exchange program at the Kobe School of Business in Kobe, Japan.Upon arriving to Japan, the university was very welcoming by providing each of us with a mentor who is a graduate student at the business school. My mentor helped me with every detail required for starting my experience in Japan, from registering at the city office to buying a futon and sheets for my new residence.  I would have been completely lost without his help, so I thought that the exchange student mentor program was very helpful and thoughtful for us students who felt uncertain about everything upon arriving.Where I am currently staying at is the international student residence.  We are provided with one room for ourselves, and then the kitchen, shower, and bathrooms are shared within the floor, which are all separated by gender.  Upon arriving, all of the students looked a little worried about the appearance, however as we got used to the place and bought new furniture and bedding, the place is not bad at all, especially for just $60 a month. Also, you get to talk with others in the housing who are all having a similar experience, so it is an encouraging and comforting environment.

Finally the classes. A lot of the subjects offered are similar to the business school requirements that we have at UW, so I felt difficulty choosing classes, especially because I had most of the upper division courses covered. I ended up choosing one class that I could possibly cover for my major, and then others that I simply felt were interesting.  One thing that I did not like was that the international students start school one week later than the normal students.  Therefore, we had already missed the first lecture of the semester, where the teachers talk about all of the important assignments and tasks required throughout the semester.  I felt lost as I attended the first class, and had to get all of the information by directly contacting the professor by myself. Other than that, the classes over here are not as difficult as the courses offered at the UW, and I felt that the students have a lot more free time on their hands.  The lectures are very interesting because rather than just listing the facts and the theories, the professors like talking about what they actually think about the matters. I feel that we are able to learn numerous perspectives on issues, rather than just memorizing materials from the books.

Overall, I am enjoying my first month at the Kobe Business School, and will follow up with more stories as I start exploring life out of the university.