CET Japan

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Ready for Japanese learning in everything? Enroll in an intensive language class. Live in a furnished Japanese share house with local roommates. Take on out-of-class projects and interview locals. The CET Japan program is designed to maximize language improvement and covers at least a full year of university-level Japanese each term. The flexible curriculum includes options for electives in Japanese or in English. The cozy campus is just 15 minutes from downtown Osaka. Weekend trips and group excursions take you off the tourist map, to hot springs, a re-created ninja village, or a ropes course in the mountains. Japanese language learners of all levels and majors are welcome to attend the fall and spring programs. The summer program has a full-time language pledge and is open to students with at least 2 previous semesters of Japanese language.

  • Small, intensive language classes
  • Cover a year's worth of Japanese each semester
  • Out-of-classroom projects & learning
  • Dedicated class segment to help you adjust to daily life in Japan
  • Electives in Japanese or English

Questions & Answers


based on 27 reviews
  • Academics 8.4
  • Support 8.5
  • Fun 8.2
  • Housing 7.3
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 1 - 15 of 27
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Summer Program has potential to be amazing, but currently is only a work fest with no student support

I'm going to leave a review because reviews for this program were hard to find before I went abroad, and the ones I found were all positive. I went in summer 2018 and while I overall enjoyed it and had a good time, some very concerning things happened while I was abroad and I want everyone to have a realistic review before they commit to this program. This review is for the short term Summer Program, I can't speak for the semester long program as it has a different structure.

It's going by a different name following a rebranding this year, but I attended the Summer Intensive Japanese Study abroad in Osaka in 2018. I'll start this in depth review by saying this program really has the potential to be an amazing, life changing program, but as it is now I cannot in good faith recommend it unless you are already at an extremely high level of Japanese proficiency. The issues I bring up in this review has been brought up in past years, but still have not been addressed. Basically, staff and administration were so focused on only the academic rigor of the program that student concerns and mental health were ignored. The language pledge was focused on to the extent that student well being and communication between student and staff was ignored, and students were left without a good support network in a foreign country. Overall I had an excellent time outside of the classes, but my experience was the exception rather than the norm. For housing, there were issues with the roommates, especially the Japanese male roommates. The Japanese roommates seem to receive little vetting for joining the program.

During my time at the program I recorded any issues the study abroad participants had, and I've summarized them below.
A summary of some of the issues students have encountered during the program:

Sexual harassment. -A student was harassed outside of her dorm in Osaka, and when she called to report it in staff criticized her actions after the event occurred, seemed bothered they'd have to file paperwork over the incident, and never informed other students about the event or to be safe.

When one student was in the hospital over a severe allergic reaction he was encouraged to take the next day off for his health, but informed the missed time wouldn't be excused, despite being in the hospital for three hours

When students tried to explain serious roommate and housing issues staff members informed students they would be reported for breaking the language pledge when they explained their issues in English, despite students being unable to describe their problems in Japanese. Nothing was done about reported issues. Further, many Japanese roommates chosen for the program behaved in an inappropriate way including smoking and sleeping with other people while roommates were around, but staff had little power to address this issue and always sided with Japanese roommates when issues were reported.

A student was not given time off to help with an emergency medical situation at home despite the possibility a family member might be seriously ill. Individual teachers have no power to excuse coursework, senior staff has all the decision power and rarely sides with students. A student's medical information was also discussed by a teacher in front of the rest of the class in a direct violation of her privacy.

Students experiencing mental health issues received little support, and in order for any class time to be excused had to have a note from a professional, none of whom live nearby making students travel to other locations to receive help. Students with issues only have one English speaking staff they can speak to at length, and that person is not certified as a counselor. Further, staff often speaks down to students as if they are children, but then expects them to navigate Japan that first week independently. Reassuring words were often said to students but then nothing was ever done to address issues. There was little support during our arrival to Japan and the first week. When students expressed frustration over policies and events they were often told that was just the way it was, or were quoted policies that were not found in the handbook or on the CET website.

I went during the summer an earthquake occurred in Japan. During the earthquake one of the student housing's doors became jammed, trapping students inside during the time where aftershocks were a risk. As there was only one door and all the windows were covered students had to wait while other students from neighboring housing pried the window coverings off so they could escape. Afterwords when a trapped student talked with CET staff she received verbal confirmation that there is only one escape route for many houses, and in the case it is blocked housing becomes very dangerous. Nothing was ever done about this issue.

During the heavy rainfall and flooding that occurred that summer students were told to come to school for their project presentations despite the risk that trains might stop. We were told we would need to walk thirty minutes to school in flood rain if trains did stop. During the poster presentations an evacuation order for the area was issued which staffed ignored so students could complete their presentations.

A hazing event between Japanese roommates occurred and CET staff dismissed the event after speaking with students involved, since students assured them it was not hazing. After seeing the videos and listening to CET students that lived there it definitely appears to be hazing, and that CET simply doesn't want to have to report and do paperwork on the occurrence. I understand that power dynamics and social stigmas are different between America and Japan, but this program is in partnership with many American Universities and these issues need to be treated seriously and not dismissed as just an aspect of Japanese culture.

On the subject of policies some information was not released to students until the week before the program began, much too late a time to change plans and receive a refund, with little time to plan and prepare. This included the need for $200 in a housing deposit, and the knowledge that we would have four hours of hw a day. ALL information about the program needs to be available up front when students are considering applying.

CET is unsympathetic towards medical issues despite claiming they are there in support. Students that are experiencing a medical issue often have to go through many steps to get any missed time excused (which affects their grade otherwise) and no special concessions are given to students with medical issues that might struggle with extreme temperatures for example.

A student was hospitalized for a week due to a life threatening allergy and had to attend class because he was told it wouldn't be excused otherwise. Staff did not provide ways to relieve students allergy or make accommodations.
CET was aware of the severity of the allergy before the student came to Japan and student was reassured CET was prepared to handle the situation, but staff clearly was not prepared or ready to accommodate the student.
In addition, the student was told to come to class after telling staff he felt was going to suffer an allergy attack because missed class time can't be excused.

Whether students had a good experience during this program seemed to be luck of the draw, as the teachers and roommates often determined whether the experience was good, as well as not experiencing any health issues during the two months. Some teachers were verbally abusive towards students, repeatably, and nothing was done about this. Some Japanese roommates regularly violated CET policies and nothing was done.

There were a lot of negatives during this program, but there were a lot of good experiences and times as well. But ultimately I'll end this review by saying the final night after the exams were over and we were celebrating at the end of the year party many Japanese students came up to me crying because they would miss us so much. They had grown so close to us in the summer, but I felt like I hardly had the chance to get to know them because of the extreme amount of homework and classwork expected of us. I still cherish these bonds, but imagine if we'd had more time to focus on the social and cultural aspects of the program. Instead, I sat in my room doing Japanese homework five days a week. There were days I was so frustrated and stressed I cried and regretted coming to Japan, something I've always wanted to do.

In summary, if you want to go to Japan and only do school work for eight hours a day, don't have any medical issues, and don't mind having no support in a foreign country, this might be the program for you. I do believe this program has excellent bones and can be amazing, but they need to actually stop and listen to students and adjust the program. These complaints I've learned are nothing new yet they are never addressed year to year.

What would you improve about this program?
Stop focusing on only completing major amounts of textbook work, and focus on the social and cultural aspects more. Let students spend more time with their Japanese housemates! They're going to remember the people and places they saw in Japan years from now, now the hours they spend doing homework in their room.
Response from CET Academic Programs


Please know that we read these evaluations very carefully, and we wanted to take the time to respond to your review of CET Japan.

We know that last summer presented a number of unique and difficult challenges in Osaka. In just 2 months, there were earthquakes, typhoons, dangerous heatwaves, and flooding. We realize this created a backdrop of stress for an already academically rigorous summer. This was unlike anything we’ve seen in Japan, and we regret that it was stressful for everyone involved.

We recognize that many students were overwhelmed by the pace of the courses and frustrated by academic policies on the ground. Know that this feedback was heard, and CET has made adjustments accordingly. Specifically, we have a new Academic Director in Osaka, a refreshed and transparent attendance policy, revamped homework assignments, re-imagined excursions, and more on-going teacher training.

We would like to respond to a few specific points in your review and will do so below. However, many of the issues you raise did not happen to you directly but rather to other students on the program. Out of respect for their privacy, we cannot respond to some of these issues directly. We do stand by the support offered to these students and hope you recognize that we are not able to share detailed information on each situation with all program attendees in an effort to protect student privacy.

Please know that CET takes issues of health and safety very seriously, so we wanted to directly address four of the issues mentioned in your review:

1. CET staff are carefully trained to respond to reports of sexual harassment, and they specifically know that best practice would never involve victim blaming or breaking confidentiality. We are required to maintain detailed records in an effort to support the students involved and their sending institutions, and onsite staff always remind students of our Title IX reporting obligations in these situations. We apologize if that was perceived as complaining about the paperwork involved. That is never our intention. Whenever a case of sexual harassment is reported, staff not only file internal reports, but other actions are taken to support students that not everyone on the program might see. For example, depending on the case, we might issue reports to local authorities, connect the student to counselors in Kansai and at home, and remind the larger student group about general safety concerns. Rest assured that we never ignore incidents of sexual harassment.

2. CET does not tolerate hazing or bullying in any form. We can assure you that onsite staff were deeply involved in the situation and with the students impacted, and in fact, a student was dismissed from the program as a result of these reports.

3. All housing in Japan was inspected after the earthquake. In fact, student housing was inspected by a certified architect following the earthquake and deemed safe. Minor damages were attended to, with some repairs taking longer than normal given the major damage that occurred throughout the region.

4. Finally, CET would, of course, evacuate students if recommended by local authorities. In summer 2018, the Japanese government issued a statement that the elderly or those under medical care be prepared to evacuate. This warning did not apply to students and was actually cancelled once the weather forecast was revised.

We are more than happy to talk with you directly about your experience if you would like to speak with us directly. Please feel free to contact me to set up a time to talk.

Sarah Dixon
CET Director of Institutional Relations
[email protected]

No, I don't recommend this program
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My Experiences with CET Japan

If you are looking for a challenging and immersive study abroad experience please consider CET Japan.

One of the most beneficial things about CET Japan is the language pledge: which forces you to speak Japanese inside and outside of the classroom. This can seem quite intimidating, but it was so helpful for my Japanese. In addition, it strengthens camaraderie with the other CET students who also took the pledge.

The CET program staff were also very supportive and always available to help. They pick you up at the airport, help you fill out important documents, and even take you to the hospital if need be. I always felt extremely comforted knowing that I could talk to them if I had a problem.

The CET academics were very high quality. Class sizes ranged from 2-5 students, which really helped me to participate in class and develop a strong relationship with my teachers. The teachers were extremely knowledgeable and skilled.

There were many social opportunities and it was easy to take advantage of them to fit your own lifestyle.

My building was somewhat old and things occasionally broke. That being said, the landlord always responded promptly. You should be advised that you may have to pay extra for utility cost.

Studying abroad with CET Japan was one of the best experiences in my life and I am extremely glad I chose it. I highly recommend CET Japan!

What would you improve about this program?
CET should be more clear about housing costs and allow for more utility use without charging extra. On their website it says that housing is included; however, many people ending up paying a significant amount for extra heating/electricity/gas costs. The amount of utility that CET covers is especially low compared to US standards.

We were given utility bills every month with a very small amount of covered utility cost. Everyone in my building went over my more than $10 every month. Some students went as high as $80 per month. In November, I used no air conditioning and was very conservative about my energy use, and still ended up going $10 over.

At the end of the semester, CET issued a partial refund to students to cover some utility costs. However, many people still had to pay extra. Additionally, students were not told about this refund at all. According to program staff, CET is not expected to issue this refund, and it is dependent on how much program budget CET has remaining at the end of the year.
Yes, I recommend this program

CET Japan Summer

This program was intensive, as promised. I did make a lot of progress in regards to my Japanese ability. I would recommend your Japanese be at least low/mid-intermediate, as the pace does not allow for much adapting if you fall behind. Expect to have a lot of busy work in regards to homework. Myself and fellow classmates had consistent trouble managing sleep and completing all of the homework. If you prioritize your grades, do not count on having free time to explore the area or travel. CET does a good job warning students beforehand that this isn't a vacation, but even finding time on the weekends was a challenge. I highly recommend that students with ANY type of health or mental health related issue start that dialogue as soon as possible with the staff and to already have relevant documents on hand when arriving. This was a life saver for me, the absence/tardiness policy is pretty unforgiving if you don't come prepared.

A highlight of the program were the language partners. The Japanese students were incredibly patient and accommodating. If your assigned partner isn't the most helpful, other partners will be more than happy to help so don't hesitate to engage with the other language partners.

No, I don't recommend this program
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Summer in Osaka, Japan

It was a great cross-cultural experience. The students were offered great opportunities to attend awesome excursions with the program.; The staff and the local roommates were definitely supportive of the foreign students for the most part. Although the academics had proven to be rather challenging, it was definitely an effective way of learning a language in a fast pace. One thing that I would recommend on improving is the communication between the local roommates and the foreign roommates. A weekly check-up on both of them could be beneficial.

What would you improve about this program?
This program could be improved by including more excursions.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Satisfactory academically, could be a bit better-rounded

I chose this program primarily for the academic rigor, which it did provide. My Japanese language ability improved significantly over the course of the program and the materials provided by my classes was generally effective. My teachers were all excellent and I very much enjoyed going to school every day to learn the new vocabulary and grammar. In this respect, I got what I wanted from my experience at CET.

What would you improve about this program?
I believe this program should have better support for students. Additionally, I would have liked the staff to communicate more transparently with students during the program.
Response from CET Academic Programs

Hi Christopher, Thanks for leaving a review about CET Japan! I'm glad that you found the intensive language program met your academic goals for improving Japanese. If you would like to provide more specific feedback on how the program can offer stronger support for students on-site, please reach out to me at [email protected] Thanks! -Shelley Jessee, Director of Marketing

No, I don't recommend this program
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Challenging, but Rewarding

This program was challenging and some assignments felt unnecessary and superfluous to the development of my Japanese skills, but overall it was a good program. The people I met on the program, both Japanese and international, are unforgettable. The language pledge is difficult at first, but extremely helpful for developing confidence and fluidity in speaking. It is easy to default back into English, but if you try to speak in Japanese as much as you can, even if you cannot get it right, it helps. If you're looking for a program that will drastically improve your skills in Japanese this program is a good choice. Osaka is a great city for someone who wants the big city, but also someone who wants a more quiet area to live. Great food, funny and unique people, and a decent class.

What would you improve about this program?
This program has work that sometimes feels like it is assigned for the sake of assigning work which feels frustrating. I wanted to spend more time traveling, but I was unable to because the amount of work.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Friendships that will last a lifetime!

The biggest thing I gained was so many friends that I am really close to. I also hugely improved my Japanese skills. This experience has opened my mind to the world (met so many people from all over the world while I was in Japan) and also made me decide to live in Japan in the future.

The program was very rigorous and we studied so much within a short time. Everyday we had quizzes and a large amount of homework (in my opinion it was a little excessive but it was in order to finish the workbook in time). We learned so much each week. It was also great how we were not allowed to be speaking English with other participants of the program. This forced us to practice all the time.

The staff members for CET were very nice and always willing to offer their support. The teachers were also encouraging and tried their best to make learning the language easy.
I lived 5 minutes away from school by train, and my place was 2 minutes away from the station (though I skateboarded most places). My roommate when I was there is one of my best friends to this day. I really miss my life in Japan!

What would you improve about this program?
Homework can be useful, but I feel the best way to learn the language is hang out with locals! That is what I did all day until late at night when I started my homework. Usually got very little sleep! Just being in a totally different culture, immersed in the language, you will learn fast! So I feel that the program can be improved by making the work load a little easier.
Yes, I recommend this program

An amazing language learning experience

The CET program in Osaka is, in my opinion, one of the best study abroad programs in Japan. It will NOT be the program for you, however, if your goal is to have an easy semester that allows a lot of travel and free time. It WILL be if you want to enhance your Japanese language ability and truly live like a Japanese college student. The Japanese classes are intense, often, and have a lot of work involved. The language pledge forces you to express yourself in and use Japanese every single day. Living with a Japanese roommate means that you have to communicate and learn about your roommate's style of living, and it also gives you an easy entrance into how a real Japanese college student lives. Because there are a lot of pros and cons of this program's aspects, I will break it into parts.

Japanese language classes
- They are HARD and rightfully so. You will see your Japanese improve quickly.
- The professors are amazing, available, and encouraging.
- The class field trips made me more connected to different parts of the culture, while also using Japanese to understand them and talk about them. My favorite was probably my class's trip to Himeji-jo.
- The classes are small (at least smaller than at my home university).
- The project class was a huge turning point for me. I would have never thought that I was capable of interviewing local Japanese people, creating a presentation about a topic, and presenting it completely in Japanese.
- The learning gaps between class levels are large. My class (200 level) was more encouraging and fun, but we also learned a lot. My friends in the 300 and 400 levels found these classes extremely hard and time-consuming, and were incredibly stressed about them.
- If you're looking for a program with good English-taught electives, I would not recommend this program. My electives were, quite simply, jokes, and did not challenge me in the way I hoped. That being said, it was fun to take a Japanese culture class while in Japan.

Living situation
- Living with my Japanese roommate gave me a view of what it was like to be a college student in Japan.
- I was able to practice with my roommate and get help on my homework almost always.
- I made a friend that I can still connect with and talk to, even after I left.
- I lived in an apartment in Toyonaka with only my roommate, so my experience was different than the majority of students who lived in share houses. However, living in a small city on the edge of Osaka was amazing -- I was able to travel by train to anywhere and eat anything within the vicinity of my apartment.
- Some people get closer to their roommates than others, which is frustrating.
- Some roommates don't try to hang out with the American students and are busy with their own lives.
- There are definitely cultural differences that come with living with someone from a different country.
- How you live in Osaka is strongly dependent on where you get placed. Students living in share houses had very different experiences that students living in apartments.

Excursions and Travel
- The CET official excursions were AMAZING and things I would have never thought to do myself. Examples include: eating a vegetarian meal at a Buddhist temple, traveling to Gifu prefecture and staying in a ryokan, visiting Byodoin temple
- There was VERY little time for travel outside of the program. We had 2 breaks during the spring semester, and one was Golden Week. I wish there had been more long weekends so that we could explore more of Japan.

- CET offered fun activities during the week that really enhanced my experience. These included: takoyaki party, karaoke party, origami making workshop, naginata demonstration, calligraphy class, etc.
- The CET staff were always available to students, especially with things like injuries/illness and emotional difficulties. Additionally, they always helped with simple Japanese living requirements like paying bills, enrolling in health insurance, etc.
- Living in Osaka means that you are close to SO many major cities. Nara, Kobe, and Kyoto are all barely 45 minutes away. Thus, it is easy to travel around the areas and visit famous places on weekends. This starkly contrasts studying abroad in Tokyo, where you need to take a bullet train or airplane to get to larger cities in other regions.
- The language pledge forced me to think in Japanese and express myself through the words I knew. This was probably the MOST important point that enhanced my language ability.
- CET is on a normal American spring semester system, which means that Japanese students were on summer vacation for a majority of the time. Thus, there were no opportunities to participate in clubs or events on the OGU campus, and meeting other Japanese students proved exceptionally difficult.
- CET staff is strict on the language pledge. Although it was extremely beneficial, it was frustrating when you wanted to befriend other English-speaking students. Additionally, CET staff scolded Japanese students that wanted to speak English with us, which was unfortunate.

Overall, this program truly changed my thinking in terms of what I wish to do after I graduate. I loved Japan so much that I decided I wanted to steer my career goals toward living and working in Japan. If you want to learn Japanese and live in a way that is more closely aligned with how it is truly like to live in Japan (vs. living in a bubble where your only friends are other American students studying abroad), then this is the program for you.

Yes, I recommend this program
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CET Intensive Japan: Challenging, but Fun

My experience in Osaka may be different from what "foreigners" experienced because I am Japanese-American, so I look Japanese and can do conversational Japanese. I heard many stories of my international classmates being stared at by random people in the train, when walking in the streets, etc., but they got used to it and just ignored the stares. Although I can speak conversational Japanese, CET placed me in a level (4) in which I could challenge myself. I had little knowledge of kanji, so being placed in a higher level was challenging because of the amount of learning kanji (25-50 kanjis a week) and writing we had to do. The support of the teachers and staff really helped me get through the semester. The teachers are all very friendly and are willing to help the students with utmost care.

CET also provided a chance to stay at a Japanese family for a weekend in a city called Sanda, which is about an hour train ride. The experience differs from house to house, but I enjoyed my host family very much. My host mom would teach me how to cook Japanese food (okonomiyaki). and since it was almost Girl's Day (March 3), we made a traditional dish called chirashizushi. Although the trip was short, I had a memorable time with them. I am very thankful for CET for providing a chance for us to experience what it is like to live in a Japanese family.

I believe my experience at Japan changed dramatically when I joined "Nihon Buyou," which is a traditional Japanese dance class offered once a week. I got really close with the other international students who took her class and with the teacher. We were like a family. She would invite us to her house and she would teach us how to make traditional Japanese food. At the end of the program party, we would perform a dance that we have practiced throughout the semester.

What would you improve about this program?
Since I was in a higher level Japanese, I did not have much trouble expressing my thoughts, but the lower level students had difficulty, which made it difficult for us to really communicate. CET has a language pledge, in which you can only speak Japanese in the building where you are studying (International Center). Most of the time the lower level Japanese wouldn't stay long to chat in the Japanese lounge (a room where you can relax, do your homework, and snack on some food that CET provides), so it was a bit difficult to talk with them. But the purpose of the program is for them to improve their Japanese, so it's understandable to have the pledge, but maybe having fun events where the higher level students can help with the lower level students with their Japanese could help create bonds between students.
Yes, I recommend this program

CET Japan Summer 2016

If you want to travel somewhere to meet awesome people, go to Japan. The Japanese I met were some of the nicest, most considerate, most helpful people I've ever known, and that made the trip completely worth it. My roommate never hesitated to help me with my homework or show me a cool tourist destination. Some thing about Japan can be tough to figure out at first, and I would have struggled a lot had it not been for everyone going out of their way to help me. The Japanese were also always very respectful to me. I never had to deal with an angry cashier or frustrated bus driver; they were always calm and patient. Putting aside the incredible culture and super interesting language, Japanese people alone are reason enough to go to Japan.

What would you improve about this program?
The full-time language pledge made it somewhat difficult to establish good relationships and friendships with the other American students due to our limited Japanese ability. I think it would be good to have weekly events where we could speak English and get to know one another better.
Yes, I recommend this program

Fun with CET Osaka

CET was an amazing experience with a great housing program! Instead of a dorm, I lived in an apartment with a local Japanese student from the same university. I became really close with my roommate & her family and often joined them for dinner on holidays, which really helped me improve my Japanese (and Osaka-ben) outside of class. In addition to CET program activities we did together, my roommate showed me around Kyoto, took me to her calligraphy class (she's attended since she was 4!), and even invited me on a road trip to Fukuoka and Yamaguchi prefectures during Golden Week to visit her father's childhood home. Overall, CET's roommate program is an incredible way to foster both your language learning and life-long relationships on study abroad.

What would you improve about this program?
Although the language pledge is helpful for immersion and faster language learning, some beginning level students struggled with it. Because they had little to no Japanese experience, some said they didn’t feel confident practicing outside of class without first knowing the basics.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Great Experience Overall

I really enjoyed my experience in Osaka. I think my most difficult challenge was trying to learn Japanese from scratch. However, I eventually got over the language barrier thanks to the staff at CET.

What would you improve about this program?
Schedule more time to travel.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Definitely consider this program!

The summer I spent with this program was life-changing. Osaka is surrounded by so much culture and history that I was continually learning on a day-to-day basis. I could take a stroll around the city and run into the most delicious food I've ever tasted, take a train to Kyoto and visit a famous temple, visit Nara and interact with deer roaming on the streets; the possibilities were endless! Every weekend was a new adventure and the Japanese roommates only made it even better. They are actually the best part of the whole program. Aside from constant language practice at home, they were always so excited to take us out to a new area or organize a get together at someone's house. At first it was hard to interact because everyone had just met and most of us weren't used to the language yet. However, the roommates made me feel so comfortable that I got over my fear of saying something wrong and quickly began to speak naturally. Now the main reason I want to go back is to see them all again. I absolutely recommend this program.

What would you improve about this program?
The gap between the courses offered is too large. For example, the 2nd year class seemed to easy for some people, yet they also did not feel prepared enough for the 3rd year class, so they were in an awkward situation. There should be intermediate courses added, or the curriculum should be modified to account for the difference in ability between each of the three levels.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Growing Up Abroad

This program is by far the best thing I ever participated in. If you are serious about learning a language, then CET is the way to go. The academics are truly challenging, and the language pledge can be difficult for lower level speakers, but if you can push through, you will find your abilities improved tremendesouly in just a short amount of time. I lost a lot of sleep, but it was worth it because i was able to create so many memories with such great people everyday and with the special activities CET plans.

Yes, I recommend this program
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CET Semester in Osaka, Japan

I just returned home from studying abroad in Osaka, Japan. While I am very happy to be home, I also realize that I probably will never get a chance to study abroad again. Whether with CET or another program, study abroad is a must do.

I decided to study abroad for the fall of my junior year. It had almost nothing to do with my major, although I did receive credit for some classes that will go towards my major. Before I chose CET, I had taken one full year (two semesters) of Japanese language classes. During my time abroad, I wanted to find a program that would give me the best opportunity to learn as much Japanese as possible. CET, therefore, stuck out as a target program for me. I applied, got accepted, and filled out all my paperwork, got my visa, and headed to Japan.

CET's staff did a good job pre-departure of responding to emails promptly and answering all my questions, which I had a lot of. Like all programs, there are a lot of forms to fill out, and CET did their best to help me get everything done.

Post Arrival
Upon arrival in Japan, we were guided by CET staff from the airport to campus. Getting to campus and getting settled in was easy and efficient.

The First Week
The first week was a long week. We had a lot of free time to get used to everything. I was thankful for that time, but it was dull for many of us because our Japanese roommates were still on vacation. I was dying to get out and explore, eat, play club sports, and do new things, but unfortunately I wasn't confident enough in my Japanese skills to try and go out on my own in a city I knew nothing about.

The first week of classes was an interesting and slightly awkward period. Everyone was at different levels in their Japanese language studies and the teachers had yet to finalize who was in which level class. In addition, every day, we were taken outside the classroom to learn how to do important things in Japan (buy groceries, ride the train, mail a letter). It was interesting and informative, but at times I felt we were a big inconvenience to the locals we were obliged to ask menial questions to.
Nevertheless, I learned basic skills needed to live in Japan.

After that first week, we progressed into our main studies from our textbook. I was placed into the level 2 Japanese class. Once I got used to my professors (先生), I really started to love my class. The pace at which we learned new grammar, vocabulary, and kanji was very fast, but because my teachers were so good, it was easy for me to do my best and enjoy the learning process. I cannot praise my teachers enough (I had two teachers that taught our class each for an hour a day). They were extremely patient, fun, and most importantly passionate about teaching. There was a mutual understanding that improving our language skills was our number one priority. The textbook we used (GENKI 2) was a very well designed and written textbook too. Learning was very straightforwards. I got out what I put in. With five students total in my class, we got a lot of personal attention, which really caters to my learning style. Overall, the Japanese classes were the number one strength of this program. In four months, we completed a full year of japanese. It's amazing how much we improved.

I lived in a shared house with five minutes away from campus. There were eight of us total, four foreign students, four local students, all attending classes at Osaka Gakuin University. We were each assigned a roommate, but we each had out own rooms. I am extremely thankful that the CET staff (Lauren Nakasato) arranged this for us. Because it was Japan, the space was small and limited, but it was satisfactory. My room had everything I needed(slow wifi/tv/sink/shared kitchen/American style bathroom, showers, laundry machice), although in the winter time it was freezing at night and we were only given one heavy blanket. Because there was no central heating, and because using our heating units were expensive, we were encouraged to tough it out and wear as much warm clothes as possible. But even if I wore everything at night, it was still cold. CET please give your future students more than one blanket. If you are a future student, pack long underwear. It sounded unnecessary to me, but I wish I had it. Other than that, the housing situation was awesome. All the roommates had part time jobs, but because there were four of them, there was usually a local Japanese student around to help with homework, answer questions, or come out with us. My housemates were awesome. My roommate was awesome too. We were all compatible, and I am thankful to have had them around. CET would not be the same without the roommate program.

Osaka Gakuin
The University we studied at has around 5000 undergraduates I think. I never could find the number online, but 5000 is what local students estimated. The campus is nice, small, and has a good cafeteria where you can get a filling lunch for 3/4$ which is great for students who didn't receive any stipend from their home schools. There is also a fully functional, American style gym where you can do any kind of exercise you want (treadmills, olympic squat racks, bench press, dumbbells, stretching room). There are three full time trainers there that can help you if you need a spotter. They are super nice, but do not understand too much english. Nevertheless, I went almost everyday. OGU is known for their sports teams, but not for their academics. Most students do not have homework, and they said that they did not have to work hard during class. But this is completely separate from the studying that we did.

Going into study abroad, I was very excited to join sports clubs/circles and meet new people through competition and having fun on the field/court. From what CET told me, and what is on their website (countless student clubs!), I had high expectations. Almost halfway through the semester, I still was unable to join any clubs. CET must change this on their website. It was very misleading. I had brought my baseball gear from America, hoping to play any level of organized baseball. I didn't care, I just wanted to play. But it was clear that the student clubs on campus did not want foreign students with limited conversational abilities to get in the way, which in all fairness, we would have. However, I sent many emails pleading for a chance to try out, and I was able to join the rubber baseball team, which turned out to be awesome. The guys were awesome, welcoming, and nice to me. The hardest part was getting connected. In reality, CET has little to no framework for foreign students to get involved in these clubs. From my experience I learned that getting involved in these clubs comes down to how bad you want to join and how persistent you are. In the end it worked out great for me, but I only got to play for the last two months of my trip. My suggestion for incoming students is to see what your roommates and housemates are involved in and ask to join in with their help.

The City
Osaka is a crazy city. Osaka Gakuin is 15 minutes away from downtown Umeda which is a hub of nightlife, food, and sightseeing. You are also very close to Kyoto, Namba, and other amazing cities, both modern, and traditional. Many students were able to travel as far as South Korea on their three day weekends (which there were many of). Plane tickets are cheap and if you have the time, definitely travel around Japan. Its easy and its worth it. I wish I had travelled more around Japan. This again comes back to how much you want it. You get out what you put in. In the end it is up to you to go out and see Japan. Go for it.

Roommate Program
My roommate and I were a very good fit. Many were not as fortunate. But because most of us lived in shared houses with up to eight people, there was always flexibility between roommate pairs so everyone had someone they could connect with. The language barrier was my biggest issue. I only had a years worth of Japanese before coming to Japan, so it was very hard for me to express myself fully. My roommate knew a good amount of English though so we were able to navigate difficult situations. There were some things we never were able to explain to each other, and it was frustrating, but in the end it was all right. Making mistakes was unavoidable, and it was best just to get over it and move on. My biggest difficulty with my roommate was that it was really hard to figure out what he wanted (what kind of food to eat, where to go, what to do on weekends). We both feared inconveniencing each other, and so we would get into the "anything is ok" conversation loop. I tried to explain that I knew relatively nothing about the Osaka area and that I will do/eat anything, but my roommate was form Okinawa so he also did not know the area. Nevertheless, we had a great experience together. We ended up playing baseball together on the same team. He is coming to America this summer and wants to go skydiving. Lucky me.

You get what you put in. CET gives you everything you need to start. The clubs experience was frustrating, but I succeeded in the end. It was cold at night sometimes, but I had an amazing time. I saw so much of Japan, learned so much Japanese, and made friends that I will keep forever. I am lucky. Some people did not have as good a time as I did. It all comes back to how far outside your comfort zone you are willing to go.

Yes, I recommend this program


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About CET Academic Programs

CET Academic Programs is a study abroad organization that has been developing and delivering innovative educational programs abroad since 1982. Originally “China Educational Tours,” CET began operations in Beijing, and today offers a varied portfolio...

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