Exchange Program - Kobe
Hyogo University is located in Kobe, a fairly large city in the Kansai region of central Japan. Kobe is a busy port city with a long history of foreign trade and a fairly large foreign community. The city offers students a large selection of food, music, movies, community classes, such as calligraphy or floral arrangement or martial arts, and so on. Areas surrounding Kobe city offer hiking trails and other outdoor activities. More information about the city and the surrounding area can be found here.
Hyogo University has a much less structured program for Evergreen exchange students than Miyazaki. Other foreign students at Shodai are fully matriculated. This means that they already speak, read and write Japanese well enough to fully participate in the academic life at a Japanese university. Shodai will provide a faculty member and a student tutor to assist Evergreen students with assignments, reading, writing and speaking Japanese. Students also will be welcome to sit in on classes to observe. Unlike Miyazaki University, students won't have structured language classes and so must be academically independent.
Note from past participant, Grant Weber:
"When you arrive at Shodai you will be asked to register for five to seven classes. When I went there was no English course list, so I had to sit down with a friend and have him read the courses off to me to decide what I wanted to take. You might receive the help of a faculty member on this one if you don't have anyone else to help you. If Matsuda Sensei is offering any Japanese conversation, writing, or cross-cultural communication classes, take them. She is a wonderful teacher who cares deeply about the progress of her students. If she is not offering any classes, you will probably be assigned to a faculty who will schedule one on one language classes with you. Even though Shodai is a business school, they do have a fair amount of liberal arts and humanities courses as well. Take what is interesting to you and keep in mind that you will not be expected to understand everything or complete all the regular work. It's a good idea to introduce yourself to your teachers and find out if sitting in, listening and doing your best will be all right."
Hyogo University assists students with securing an apartment. They will also provide students with a bed, and there will most likely be a small refridgerator and stove in the apartment. Without a scholarship, housing runs about $500 a month plus utilities; expect to spend another $500 a month on food and entertainment. Bills you receive (water, gas, electricity and phone) can be paid at any convenience store in Japan.
The authorization of acceptance from Hyogo arrives near late October. The school year begins early April.