Kanda University of International Studies is a really awesome place. I especially love it because I can focus on my two major interests here: Japanese and international relations. The 2,000 students that attend Kanda are mostly Japanese, although there are multiple study abroad programs that send students here besides IES. Kanda is pretty well-known for being a good place to learn different languages, and especially English.
There are international influences all over campus (despite it being pretty small) which I love. One example of this is the SALC, which stands for Self Access Learning Center. It’s an English-only zone where Japanese students come to practice English and talk to foreign students. We have kind of made this area our hang-out zone on campus this semester, so a lot of the IES students and our ePals will spend time there in between classes. And although it’s an “English-only” area no one really ever checks so a lot of us still practice Japanese here.
There are also plenty of clubs (also called circles in Japan) at Kanda that you can have the opportunity to join. It’s a great way to meet even more university students and practice your Japanese. There is everything from belly dance to badminton to tea ceremony circles. If you feel uncomfortable about joining one by yourself, try to get a friend to go with you! Or be brave and step outside your comfort zone, you never know what might happen. Because of my other commitments, including the field placement I have every Wednesday, I chose not to join a circle at Kanda. Still, based on what I’ve heard from other people, joining a circle (or multiple) can be a lot of fun.
Other cool places in this university include MULC, or the Multilingual Communication Center. At MULC students can practice different languages and learn about a variety of cultures. There are seven different language areas, each one with reproductions of buildings and streets from the different parts of the world. The seven languages are Chinese, Korean, Indonesian, Vietnamese, Thai, Spanish, and Brazilian Portuguese. There is also something called the International Area which is a multilingual space and no particular affiliation.
Kanda places a lot of emphasis on learning different languages and promotes the exchange of culture. So not only do you have the opportunity to learn Japanese while studying at Kanda, you can also learn about a lot of different places from around the world! Altogether I’m very happy I had the opportunity to attend this university in Japan.
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<p>Mikaela is a junior at Indiana University majoring in International Studies and East Asian Languages & Cultures. Originally from the suburbs of Chicago, she has spent the past few years enjoying life as a Hoosier while dreaming of the day she finally got to go abroad. Traveling is one of her greatest passions and she looks forward to exploring not only Tokyo but as much of Japan as possible during her semester abroad. She is actively involved in both her sorority and International Studies Honor Society, and enjoys reading, hiking, and drinking tea in her free time. She is so excited for the adventure that lies ahead and can’t wait to share it with everyone!</p>