Hey everyone, hope you are all doing well. So, I dropped the ball and didn’t post my second blog for September due to being busy with opening a Japanese bank account, getting my class schedule for the semester and coping with culture shock. I apologize for that.

So, opening a bank account in Japan was an experience to say the least. What I mean by that is there cannot be any mistakes whatsoever when filling out paper work for a bank account here in Japan. If you have one tiny error, you must start over from the beginning. An example of this is I messed up my bank account application form because I spelt my name in Japanese wrong by one character and you cannot just scratch it out and rewrite it. Japanese bank workers like paperwork to be perfect on every information section. Another mistake I made was I spelt my name in what I call, the American way. Which is Isaac Maes. However, in Japan one must put the last name first. I finally was able to submit my paperwork properly after four tries. I was a little frustrated by try 4 but now I just laugh about it.

So, after I was finally able to get my bank account set up properly the semester started a few days later and the way the classes are set up here at Meiji Gakuin University is not only convenient, but allows the student to experience the classes before getting too far into the semester. The way the classes are set up is there are 6 blocks to a school day and a lunch hour. Each block has a set time and in said set time are classes one can take. This allows for a more organized schedule for students and allows them to work in a lunch break according to their busy schedules. In addition, the first week of classes is a freebie of sorts. What I mean by that is students can go to the classes that sound the most interesting to them and get a feel for what the class is going to be like. This adds not only more choices for the student in terms of what classes they want to take resulting in a more in depth look of the class than what a semester syllabus will describe. This type of class crash course if you would, is what allowed me to make a more in-depth decision of which classes I wanted to take which are: Intensive Japanese (which is mandatory for international students), Practical Japanese (which is also mandatory for international students), Japanese Cinema, Japanese Architecture History, and Sumi-e Painting. In addition, each class will offer a different insight to Japanese culture. I wanted to take so much more but I was unable to due to some classes being only in Japanese and my Japanese language skills are not up to the level required to take said courses.

Now that the semester has started I should be able to post more frequently. I am going to Meguro, another neighborhood of Tokyo, today because I pass it on the train ride every day to class but have never actually been. I will be creating another blog shortly with photos describing that experience. Also, I am going to start providing Japanese words/phrases at the end of each blog. I feel this will allow whomever reads my blog to build their Japanese language skills, as well as allow myself to get better at Japanese.

Thank you for taking time to read this blog and remember to follow @unmstudyabroad on Instagram and Facebook.

Isaac M.

Japanese Words of the Day:

こにちは; Konnichiwa Hello or (Good Afternoon)

ありがとうございま; Arigatoo Gozaimasu Thank You (Polite Form)

ごめんなさい; Gomenasai: Sorry