See? I told you I’d make at least one other post.
I shopped for a few more items and went to the bank today. At the bank I had to deposit a few checks and my mom helped me get some traveler’s checks as well. I’m a little nervous about using them, wondering if I’d get any strange looks from anyone that I give them to.
One of my concerns is that, after Hikaru escorts me to Fujimidai (where my dorm is), the next morning I might have to find the school on my own. In addition, my dorm is located near Fujimidai Station, which is on the Seibu-Ikebukuro line and not part of JR East, which is the dominant rail system. So I have to find a separate map to avoid getting lost.
My other concern is my living environment. I was given two choices for accomodations: J-DREAM Fujimidai (the one I chose) and the Rikkyo University International Dormitory (RUID).
Compared to the United States, dorm rules in Japan are much more strict. A lot of the rules are centered around the Japanese values of respect and consideration. Whereas in a U.S. university the dorms are open all night and you can easily sneak off-campus people in to sleep for the night, Japanese dormitories are different in that there is a curfew and a policy on visitors. J-DREAM has a 10:00pm curfew (“omgz so early!!!111” you say) and visitors must leave by 9:00pm. Personally, I do not care about the 10:00pm rule, because I’m not a party girl. I am allowed to stay out later or even not come back for the night, as long as I notify the dorm manager in advance. Really, am I actually going to want to do that every night? Probably not.
But that’s not my concern. I’m concerned about my choice for accomodation in terms of socializing. I chose J-DREAM because the commute time is slightly shorter and probably (hopefully?) cheaper (15-minute commute on the regular train vs. 20-minutes on an express train). I love to save money wherever and whenever I can, so I can spend the extra money on other things. I chose a single room instead of a double, and skipped out on a meal plan that’s available at RUID.
Both dorms are privately run, but RUID is especially for Rikkyo students. I imagine that most of the international students will be there, and they’ll probably have a lot of fun. Meanwhile, I’m at the *other* dorm, without a roommate, and not sure how many other students are from Rikkyo, and how many of them are from completely different areas (that is, neither Rikkyo students nor international students).
I sincerely hope and pray that my experience will not be like my experience with this certain program I participated in during my first two years at UM. This “living-learning” program was very hard because EVERYONE lived on campus, and I didn’t. After those two years I ended up not making a single friend, just a bunch of mere acquaintances. But since nothing’s happened yet, there’s nothing to be worried about. I’ll just have to wait and see, and then make the most of my experience. I can’t afford for this study abroad experience to be “okay” or “fine” or “whatever.”