Exchange Program - Miyazaki
Miyazaki is located at the south end of the Island of Kyushu. The latitude is about the same as San Diego and the climate is very similar. It is a small city about the size of Portland, though more spread out owing to the largely agricultural nature of the area. Fields of rice or vegetables are common sights around Miyazaki. The city's official web page can be found here.
Twenty or thirty years ago Miyazaki was a famous resort for honeymooners, although in more recent years this practice fell off, as more exotic locales became standard (Hawaii being a prime example). Now the main influx of visitors to Miyazaki is from people coming to surf. Miyazaki is one of the most famous surfing spots in Japan and is the site of quite a few contests every season. Miyazaki has some beautiful beaches and many rivers, trails and camping spots in the surrounding hills.
The city itself, while not large, still has many amenities, recreational activities, concerts, restaurants, movies, shopping, and more. While removed from the rest of Japan it is quite comfortable in its seclusion.
Miyazaki Daigaku (Miyadai) hosts many exchange students from all over the world – China, Malaysia, Poland, India, and Africa are just a few of the countries represented, Because of this, Miyadai has a wide range of extremely good Japanese language classes. To be accepted to Miyadai, the applicant should have "a degree of Japanese ability" but even if you've had a minimum of exposure to the language, you will still find appropriate classes.
In addition, students are welcome to attend any of the regular classes offered. Former exchange students have attended classes ranging from traditional Japanese archery to music theory, pottery, calligraphy, and Japanese literature.
Housing for Miyadai exchange students is generally limited to the college's international dormitory. This is very conveniently located on campus and is a five-minute walk either to classes or to the supermarket. The dormitory is co-ed and has two floors for women and six for men. Although called the 'international house', most of the people living in the dorm are Japanese, with foreign-exchange students comprising about 30% of the dorm residents. This provides great opportunity for speaking Japanese in very open and relaxed atmosphere. The housing fee is approximately $100-150 a month plus telephone.