Basic Knowledge About Life Abroad

Accommodation: Whether to Select a Homestay or a Residence/Dormitory

Benefits of a Residence or Dormitory
The benefits of staying in a residence or dormitory are economic and proximity to the campus. Most universities have residences on campus. The residences are usually divided into male and female residences and some have special ones to accommodate overseas students. As the residences are usually on or very close to campus, you can save travel expenses and time and use this time for study and/or other activities. This and the relatively low cost make residences economical. On top of this, the main benefit is having the opportunity to live among and make friends with other students from a variety of countries.


The Benefits of Homestays
The main benefit is having the opportunity to reside with a local family. This allows overseas students the opportunity to learn the culture, customs and lifestyles of local families first hand and to be, at least temporarily, a member of the family. For the best result, it is advisable to make arrangements to be matched with a suitable local family as early as possible and to make contact with the family before departure to exchange mail or e-mail.



For short-term study abroad Travelers Cheques and credit cards are most suitable with small amounts of cash. For longer term study abroad establishing a bank account is advisable as it is better not to hold larger amounts of cash. One good example is the CITIBANK World Cash system. World Cash accounts are possible in over 100 countries and have over 530,000 ATMs that that cash can be withdrawn easily and cash can be transferred to and from the accounts. It is possible to create the overseas accounts before departure from Japan.



For those who are planning to study in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Australia, New Zealand and other overseas destinations, Japanese foods and restaurants are often available in larger centers. Most supermarkets in these countries now sell tofu and shoyu (soya sauce). It may be best to take some Japanese food items such as shoyu with you. Chinese and Korean food restaurants tend to be available in most of these countries as well so it may be wise to make use of them.



Most Japanese Internet and Mobile service providers have links with overseas ISPs or roaming services that can be utilized. As these connections may not always be seamless, it is best to confirm the details before departure. In some countries you will need a modular jack and/or adapter for the electrical connections.



As Japanese health care coverage is limited and overseas medical costs can be very high, it is essential to have adequate medical coverage. Most overseas study programs have some type of health program but it is important to review the costs and what exactly is covered and to purchase additional coverage in Japan before departure if necessary. In particular, most overseas programs do not include dental care, some illnesses and surgeries in the basic health insurance plans.



If you are living/studying overseas for over three months, you must register with the local Japanese embassy or consulate. It is usually necessary to inform the Japanese authorities of your name and full contact information. If you have registered and run into some difficulties, the Japanese Embassy or Consulate will be able to assist you. Please confirm with them upon arrival.