Let’s discover what it is like to be an exchange student in Japan, and more precisely, at Nagoya University (NUCB). Through this interview of one of our mobile plans subscriber, you’ll learn more about how Japan can be a great experience in your studies!

Please introduce yourself (nationality, background, age, exchange university in Japan)

My name is Gwen, I am a 24 years old French exchange student in Nagoya in Japan. I have been studying at the EMLyon’s global BBA for 2 years now and it has always been my dream to come and discover Japanese culture during my studies.

Why did you choose Japan and Nagoya University?

I have always been really interested by the Japanese culture and how they manage to keep a strong sense of duty and tradition while being one of the most innovative countries in the world! I am also into manga which can explain more of my attraction towards this country haha. Going to Nagoya was not really a specific choice of mine but I was put in a situation where if I wanted to go to study in Japan I had to go to Nagoya because it was our only partnership in Japan.

What are the pros and cons of studying in Japan as an exchange student?

I think one of the pros and cons is the culture. It is really different from what I am used to, and it can be hard to fit in, even 4 months after I am still making some mistakes from time to time. However, the Japanese people you can meet are so nice and respectful and you can really immerse into the Japanese culture. You need to be open minded and try to push things a bit because sadly Japanese people don’t really like to speak English so it can be difficult from time to time! However, just try to speak Japanese, even if it’s just a word and you’ll see how happy they will get!

What are your most favorite things about Japan?

The food! Food in Japan is amazing, and you have a lot of options that are really affordable. I’m saying this even though I’m French, so it must be true right?

Have you been traveling during your stay in Japan? If yes, where did you go and what did you do there?

I have been traveling, but it was not as much as I wanted because of the university’s workload. I have been to Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Gifu. Every time it was for visiting as a tourist and I visited some temples, enjoyed the different specialties and met some Japanese people as well!

Tell us about Nagoya as a city, how do you like it ?

Well Nagoya is Japan’s 3 largest cities. Although I am studying at Nagoya’s university, my campus is quite far from Nagoya city by public transport thus, I don’t spend much time there. The city is very nice but there is not much to do on a cultural aspect.

What are the difficulties or surprising things that you encountered as a foreigner in Japan?

Well, what was really hard is the language barrier. I don’t speak much Japanese and Japanese people don’t speak that much English, so it was hard at first to communicate, but thanks to that, I managed to improve my Japanese and had a great time and I’ve met a lot of people!

Why did you choose Smash Mobile as a mobile plan service provider for your stay?

I chose Smash Mobile because I heard about it from a friend that had stayed before me. I had it delivered to my place and was very easy for me! No need to go buy a sim card or anything it was all done online and delivered to my mailbox! Since the renewal of the contract is done every month, I don’t even need to renew or top-up all the time!

How did studying in Japan change you?

I think being able to learn from such a different culture than what we are used to can help you broaden your point of view. Although I don’t agree with everything that is going on in Japan, I’m really impressed by their sense of duty and respect that has changed me for the better!

What are your future plans? (job, coming back to Japan)

Going back home after a 3 weeks long road trip all over Japan with some friends to make up for all the visits I couldn’t do while studying! The next time when I will be coming back to Japan is still unknown to me as of now, but it will probably be as a tourist!