Student Voice (Chen Pen Yuan/Bill)
Lifestyles of International Students
Chen Pen Yuan (Bill)
Faculty of Environment and Information Studies (3rd year)
Life as a student here is certainly extremely fulfilling, but that is accompanied with a very full schedule. I start my day early every day, with a light workout before breakfast. Most days I am on campus until early evening, attending classes and seminars. I have a free day on Wednesday, however, which I usually spend working on assignments and meeting with friends, often on campus. To keep myself fit I am also a member of the badminton circle that meets on Fridays. One day per week I have classes in business at the Mita campus as part of the Global Passport Program (GPP), which are very intense and require lots of preparation. One element of that class that I am looking forward to is a visit to several Silicon Valley companies to learn about their businesses.
I applied for two scholarships when applying to SFC, and I was awarded a scholarship that covers all of my tuition fees. Some of the prices in Japan are a little higher than in Taiwan, but there are things which are cheaper, such as seafood. If you cook by yourself or with friends, you can save a considerable amount of money on food expenses, but since I live alone the time is not very efficient to cook by myself, so I usually eat out with friends or buy something to eat at home. If I eat out it usually costs around 1,000 yen or up to 2,000 yen, and if I buy something to eat at home it is usually around 500-600 yen. I notice the difference most for transport. While I don’t have any financial difficulties, it would be nice to get a part-time job at some point to have some extra spending money.
An important part of the life here is the opportunity to learn Japanese in classes and to develop Japanese language ability and cultural understanding through your daily activities, while being able to take classes in English. I have arranged language exchanges with three different partners that I met through classes, and also joining clubs and seminars provides plenty of opportunities to use Japanese. I love languages, so I started studying French here, and I plan to study Spanish and German in the future. The environment here has really awakened my interests. The study style also differs from traditional teaching, with the lecturers sharing their experience rather than simply teaching. There is also a lot of freedom to pursue the studies you want, so Keio SFC is a great choice for those that know what they want to do.
Note: Titles, affiliations, student years, etc. indicated for individuals are accurate at the time of January 2015.