We received testimonial from Joyce who studied here for several months.
Thank you Joyce!!
“A world trip” might be the word to describe my study abroad experience. Except for the Arctic poles, Africa and South America, I have been to most of the places either for short or long term study for almost 10 years in total.
This is my second time to study in Fukuoka. Some people ask me: “why would you go to such a place? Don’t you want to go to Tokyo? Aren’t you afraid that people will speak with a local accent? Why would you go to the same place twice?” Personally, I think Fukuoka is a suitable place for Taiwanese to do study abroad because it’s convenient and the prices are reasonable. I’ve stayed in Tokyo for a month and honestly, “everywhere was far” and “travel time took so long” were my only impression. For a person who’s used to maximum 30 minutes of motorbikes or cars commute, I asked myself “why am I walking under the sizzling sun in Tokyo?” In Fukuoka, I could go to almost anywhere by my bicycle. I rarely took the subway. Besides, Fukuoka is not as rural as people are imagining.
Accent? Teachers in School teach standard Japanese and when people find out that you are a foreigner, they usually speak to you in standard Japanese. I had been in Fukuoka for about 1 year and it’s a shame that I haven’t picked up a word of Kyushu dialect.
When I first came, I tried both living in a dormitory and home-stay. The merits of doing a home-stay are that meals will be prepared for you and that your host family would be eager to talk with you, so you can practice your Japanese. However, for people like me who don’t live by normal hours, home-stays might be hard to adjust to. Besides, although my host family was ok with me staying out all night and not telling them before hand, I felt pressured and obligated to let them know. Speaking from this point of view, living in a dormitory on the contrary gives freedom. However, it still doesn’t mean that you won’t have to social if you live in a dormitory. A lot of the facilities in the dormitory are shared spaces, so sometime you will have to social even when you don’t feel like to. Personally, I am not used to chatting with strangers. Because of that, I chose to live in an apartment on my second trip to Fukuoka. Some schools put all students in one apartment. Maybe it has its merits, but speaking from experience, whenever problems happened, no one was willing to confront them because after all, we also have to see each other at school, so we figured that keeping the “harmony” would be wise. In other cases, some house owners rent out rooms just for profit, so they set strict rules about using things in the house.
The room that I rent through WAHAHA has been the best. My roommate was one of the staffs at WAHAHA , so the problem of having to live with someone weird was avoided. I had my privacy and could keep my life-style as it was. Everyone in the house had common sense and manner about house sharing and kept the house clean.
The first school I went in Tokyo offers classes with a large number of students, 90% of them were Asians. Almost all of them were preparing to enter Japanese universities, so to them, speaking ability wasn’t as important as passing the written exams. Learning was mainly by copying down things and memorizing answers. I, personally, hate and just can’t follow that kind of learning method. Therefore, I changed my school and went to one where 99.9% of the students were westerners. Classes were conducted with a small number of students. However, since they weren’t used to the “Chinese character culture,” the teachers had to spend a lot of time explaining and answering their questions on Chinese characters, which was hard for the teachers, too. I wanted to have lessons where every minute was worth the money I paid, so I felt like it was a waste of my time and money to sit there and learn the Chinese characters that I already know.
After those bad learning experience, I decided to change my school to WAHAHA. Compare to teachers at other schools, teachers here not only have a lot of teaching experience, but also have a deep understanding of their own culture. Their teaching styles suited me well. They are also responsible teachers and are passionate about teaching both the language and the culture. Lessons involve a lot of interaction between teachers and students and the speed of carrying out the lessons was well managed.
There is a wide range of activities you could do here. You can use the public transportation to visit big cities and/or small towns without being stuck with crowds if you like to travel. Or you can join the activities that school organizes if you feel lazy about doing trip researches. If you don’t like far trips, there are places for flower-seeing, horse races, swimming, climbing, bowling, training and other sports in Fukuoka city.
To make it short, if you don’t like long commutes or learning solely for the purpose of passing tests, WAHAHA should be the most suitable language school for you.