First week of school!

Millie Koong
September 15, 2016

Hey everyone! I’m just about to finish my very first week at school and I’m ready to knock out for the next ten thousand years.

The day after I wrote my last post we got on a bus to Nanzan University and got all moved in. I live in Nagoya Koryu Kaikan (NKK, for short), which is literally right next to the main gate, so after all the IES Abroad kids were dropped off at Nanzan we just walked over. I live on the fourth floor and we don’t have an elevator, and this is the second year I’ve gotten a room like this in college, so at this point I think I’m cursed (but at least I’ll stay fit even eating all this food, haha). It's actually bigger than my room at my home institution, surprisingly. :-)

We live in apartments of 4 people, consisting of 1 Japanese student, 2 other international students, and yourself. My Japanese roommate is the best; we all cooked dinner together and bonded on the first night and it was the cutest thing ever. :-) The NKK community in general is really great! We had a welcome potluck party to meet everyone from both NKK and YKK (YKK is the boys’ dorm), meet new people all the time just passing each other in the laundry room, etc. I have to admit that I was a little disappointed that I wasn’t placed with a host family at first, but now I’m actually really glad to be in NKK since I have the freedom to do whatever I want, and I get to be with my friends all the time.

We had a couple of days to get used to our dorm, and then we started a week of orientation. General orientation was fine, but I completely forgot that we would be taking placement tests during orientation, so I was completely unprepared for that. Definitely don’t forget about the placement tests!! When I was first accepted by Nanzan they included some kanji and grammar review packets in the acceptance email, which in hindsight would have helped me a LOT. It wasn’t so terrible even without studying though, since it was multiple choice, and we have 3 different placement tests to make sure we end up in the most suitable classes. In retrospect it wasn’t much to be stressed about - believe in yourself!

At the end of orientation we got to choose our classes. My tentative schedule right now are the two required Japanese language classes, hanga (woodblock carving), political and social issues of Japan, Intermediate Translation, and Japanese literature III (Where are Lit I and Lit II? I’m not completely sure; they weren’t listed as options). Even though it’s just the first week (or maybe because so?), I’ve felt really overwhelmed. In America, the first day of class is dedicated to just going over the syllabus, but we’ve had actual classwork AND homework in every class. We’ve even had a quiz in one of the language classes! Everyone I’ve talked to is convinced that we’ll adjust to the workload though, so I’m excited to be a month into it and well adjusted and everything. We’ll see!

 

Millie Koong

<p>Hi, I&#39;m Millie! I&#39;m a Southern California native currently studying Critical Social Thought and Asian Pacific American Studies at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts. I love film, art history, and the Food Network - join me as I eat my way across Japan (and hopefully learn some things along the way).</p>

Destination:
Term:
2016 Fall
Home university:
Mount Holyoke College
Major:
Asian Studies
Sociology
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