Sakura Mentor

My Daily Life when I was an International Student in Japan
Ha Hoang Updated in October 2020

4 years ago, I returned Japan after SSP for master’s degree at Kwansei Gakuin university (KGU). I enjoyed it very much and here is my daily life when I was a student.


5:30got up, prepared and had breakfast
7:00walked to station to take a train, then a bus to school. I lived in KGU dormitory which is 40 km away from my campus, though it is very close to main campus. It takes around 1 hour, and during that time, I read book or viewed beautiful scenes through windows
8:30arrived school, prepared for classes, lab meeting or experiment
12:30had lunch with labmates, enjoyed talking with them. Although Japanese students are good not at English, they tried their best to speak
13:30continued classes, experiment or self studying
17:00went home, if I took a late class or did extra experiment, I would go home later
18:30cooked dinner, chatted with other international students, or sometimes we had a party and watched movie together in common space. Since KGU organizes exchange programs with many universities, every semester I always met new friends from all over the world and learnt more about their cultures. I’m not native speaker, when I first spoke to some friends from US or UK, it was so hard to follow them. But day by day, my English was improved well
20: 30time for myself and ended of day


1) joined music lesson taught by dorm’s manager. The manager taught playing guitar while his wife taught playing piano. It was good to learn playing instruments and have new friends
2) supported janitors to clean common space, and chatted with her. She was my good friend too, and I learnt about Japanese culture from her a lot
3) visited somewhere with friends. Since KGU is located near Kobe, it is very convenient to go Kobe, Osaka or Kyoto just in one day

image1Winter illumination in Kobe
image2Arashiyama, Kyoto in spring

4) took free Japanese class at international association of city. In Japan, almost every city provides free Japanese class for foreigners every week. You don’t need to pay tuition fee, but have to pay a little for document materials (~1000 yen/month). My Japanese teacher is very kind, and sometimes she invited me to her house


My first Japanese essay in magazine

5) volunteered at English camp with kids. I usually took part in 2 days and 1 night camp at weekend. It was great time to play with kids, practiced basic Japanese and made new friends

I think being a student doesn’t mean just studying. Perhaps you could imagine from my stories. I hope you will have a happy student life in Japan.