ISOIS ▸ Final reports

Host country:
Host institution:
Mobility type:
Ac. year:
Study level:
Language filled in:

Rikkyo University

Japan 2019/2020 Faculty agreements

Personal data
Mobility type:

Faculty at MU:
Faculty of Arts

Field of study:
Japanese Studies

Level of study during period of placement:

Language used:

Summer/winter school?:

Period of studies:
autumn 2019
spring 2020

Period of placement (from-to):
2019-09-04 - 2020-07-31

Number of months:

Activities before my departure abroad
Where can information be found about courses taught at the foreign school?:

3. Academic Program

Which documents were needed for acceptance at the foreign university?:
reference letter, motivation letter, online application, dormitory application, health check-up (including x-ray), bank account statement, Japanese visa, english exam certificate

How far ahead did you have to organise your acceptance?:
I started to prepare almost 1 year ahead

Did you need a visa?:

Documents and materials needed for a visa:
Passport, invitation letter from university, dormitory acceptance (with written address of the dorm), special application document distributed at embassy

Length of wait for visa:
4 days

Fee for the visa:

Did you have a Learning Agreement signed before your departure?:

If not, why not?:

Before your departure did you know how your courses would be recognised by your home faculty?:

During your stay did you change your Learning Agreement?:
yes, because the I filled out the LA based on previous year's course list which changed and we also recieved new information at the semester start so it had to be changed, I also added Changes to LA document

When and how did course registration take place? Are there any restrictions? Possibilities of making changes?:
course registration was online and we had class presentation about how to do it, it was part of the orientation week

Did you take any examinations at the foreign school?:
yes, Japanese language test

Does the school use the ECTS system?:

If not then explain how the credits there were recalculated into ECTS:
Rikkyo has their own system that I didn't find explained, but I didn't calculate my credits myself, it was calculated and assigned by department teacher at MU when I was filling out my LA

Describe the teaching methods (theory, practical and projects) and assessment of students:
teaching methods were as I'd imagine world-class education facility, in class courses included explanation of the topic and practical excercise, it was mostly language courses so sometimes we were divided into a group for conversation
there were many presentations we had to prepare and present individually, this was not only in-class but during spring 2020 also during online classes as well
there were weekly homeworks which either teacher collected each class or we checked them all together

Quality of teaching in comparison with home school:
I would say the teaching methods are similar, but it's difficult to compare language classes held by native Japanese and classes at MU. Classes at MU are more liguistics oriented, we could understand the structure of the language and culture better thanks to what we were taught beforehand. Ar Rikkyo it was easily understandable, homework tasks were clear, presence in class had a big impact on the final mark and all teachers were very understanding and willing to help if students faced any difficulities.

How did you receive study materials?:
Rikkyo had their own printed material distributed in classes /autumn 2019/ and online / spring 2020/

Can you recommend an interesting course/subject/teacher?:
All of the courses were very interesting but I would reccommend Proffesor Reisel and her courses about Japanese popular culture. She teaches the classes in a very unique style and from each class I would see a new point of view on different topics. It's a demanding class, takes more time and effort than some other classes but it is worth it. Thanks to her I was able to meet an author of books about popular culture which I read Partick Galbraith.

How well is the school library equipped?:
The library is very well equipped. I could find some interesting books, the only problem was that some of them couldn't be carried out of the library or taken photo of. But I found many books that were available to carry out too. There are two libraries - one in Ikebukuro and one in Niiza campus.

Availability of computers, internet access, level of software needed, requirements on notebook:
computers were available across the whole campus, there were usually Microsoft Windows OS computers, but in one building there were only MAC computers for students used to this operation system
Internet was throughout both campuses as well, never experienced any trouble
notebooks are allowed to used mostly in all classes (there are exceptions in some language courses where it's not neccessary)
notebooks are also available for free rental throughout the day

Options from printing and copying:
we could print using our student card on campus printer (there was a point system but I never ran out of my points)
but copying was 1 page for 10 yen

Does the foreign school/student organisation arrange special events for exchange students?:

If yes then what?:
there were many, but some of them were in the form of lottery so not all who wanted to join could participate, but that's also because they were for a very special price or for free

Examples: Noh theathre experience, Tea ceremony, local trips, Czech Classical music concert and many more...

How would you assess your integration with the local students (evaluation like in school from 1 to 5 with 1 as highest):

or describe in your own words:
I would say there was a barrier but we were not completely separated, somehting in between
I was able to make some Japanese friends
but for example language classes were held completely without Japanese students

Practical questions on your placement
Where did you live?:
I lived in RIR Shiinamachi which is Rikkyo University's dormitory where one floor is reserved for international students, rest is for Japanese.

Cost of accommodation - monthly:
763 EUR

Additional comments to the price of accommodation (as to what the price includes):
accomondation, internet, electricity, water

there were separate monthly bills for gas and insurance

Describe the equipment. Tips for future students – what should they bring with them?:
no need to bring anything, except for electric plug in reduction - Japanese have different
but the room had fridge, washing machine, AC, drying system in a bathroom, balcony, sink, mirrors, toilet

How and how far ahead should accommodation be organised?:
solve everything as soon as you recieve the fill-out forms, it takes time, also consider the health check-up and x-ray is neccessary
Rikkyo has their own deadlines as well

What are the catering options?:
Shiinamachi has a really nice meal plan - breakfasts and dinner
staff is very nice and kind, like a family

What are the rough costs of groceries (compare with Czech prices):
very very expensive
1 kg of apples in Czech = 1 apple in Japan
small box of strawberries = over 100czk
but some are the same price - like avocado = 30 CZK

Transport to location of placement:
I could walk 15 minutes to Ikebukuro campus
to Niiza campus it was 30-40 minutes by train (once a week)

Rough prices for transportation:

to Niiza campus around 60-80 czk (1 way)

regarding trips:
from closest dorm stop to Ikebukuro (30czk), local bus was (40czk)

for example to Yokohama it was around (200CZK)

Tips for purchasing cheap tickets and other recommendations:
we had Shinkansen discount (for trips)
some students living further from Ikebukuro used the train dicsount for communitng but for me it wasn't neccessary

What are the local transport options (public transport, cycling, on foot, rough prices):
already described in “Rough prices of transportation“

cycling was popular, but I don't know the prices
I preffered on foot or train

What kind of formalities have to be arranged before arrival, for example residence permit?:
it's usually taken care of at the airport and after arrival a person in charge of the dorm takes the students to the city hall and arrange everything together

What health insurance did you use? (rough price, advantages, disadvantages, is it necessary to arrange insurance at the university other than your home (Czech) insurance?):
National Health Insurance - 250 CZK/month
Rikkyo Health Insurance
travel insurance from VZP in Czech (during the period of Corona virus)

Did you have any experience with medical treatment abroad?:
yes, I sprained an ankle

Did you work during your studies?:
I had a part-time job at Rikkyo, I was a student assistant in one of the courses called College Life Planning

What are the conditions for working for MU students?:
need to have a working permit (stamp on a residence card), they can work up to certain hours per week, no more

if there are multiple part time jobs there is a special document necessary (but I don't have an experience with that)

Tips for free-time activities:
Join a school club
walk around Ikebukuro - shopping, theathres, entertainment centers, aquarium, planetarium

city center is close to Ikebukuro so it's not too far to make a day trip to any part of Tokyo and it doesn't cost much

Financial support and expenses
Total grant from Centre for International Cooperation:
200000 CZK

Monthly grant in CZK:
20000 CZK

Number of supported months:

Total number of months:

What other sources did you make use of to finance your placement?:

If you received another grant, state which and how much in CZK:

Total fees associated with enrolment at the university:

a/ amount of enrolment fee:

b/ amount of tuition fees:

c/ amount of other fees (which):

What was your average monthly expenditure?:
20000 CZK

a/ of which for accommodation:
20000 CZK

b/ of which for catering:
7000 CZK

c/ travel and recreation:
3000 CZK

Any comments to the average monthly expenditure:
accomondation was paid beforehand so I don't count it in the monthly expenditure
1250 was insurance, 2000 yen was gas bill

Recognition of foreign studies at the home faculty
How many credits did you gain during your studies (in the system of the foreign school)?:

How many ECTS credits were recognised at MU?:

Did you know in advance which of your courses would be recognised by your home faculty?:
Yes and if I wasn't sure I could ask teacher who gave advice throughout mail

What problems did you have with recognition?:
I'm still waiting for the transcript of records from Rikkyo and document “Changes of Learning agreement“ signed by MU party to be sent back to me so I could upload it to the system

but other than this, no problems yet

Overall assessment
Assessment of personal benefit (1 = excellent):

Assessment of academic benefit (1 = excellent):

Evaluate the information and support provided by the foreign school (1 = excellent):

Did you encounter any serious problems during your stay:
none that I could think of

What would you recommend to take with you:
I recommend to take as few of things as you can and one spare luggage, because if not, going back will be very difficult. I had to send many things by post.

Anything needed can be found an bought there (there is Daiso - 100 yen shop nearby)

bring souvenirs typical for Czech republic

What most surprised you at the partner university in a positive way:
How organized everything was
instructions were clear, techers were very nice and welcoming, campus was beautiful and close to my dorm
no difficulties with internet connection
there was a cafe inside campus- next to library
and each campus had at least one convinience store inside (Lawson and Family Mart)

What most surprised you at the partner university in a negative way:
I wasn't allowed to join japanese archery club, because I was only exchange student
some other clubs I was interested in and might be able join were too expensive

Further comments:
I would say that despite being one of the most prestigous universities in Japan Rikkyo is very open-minded and not conservative school which has a close connection to the western culture. During the pandemic COVID19 outburst we were provided with support even as international students, we could stay and finish our abroad study program. Some other classmates studying at different universities in Japan complained they were told to leave their dorms with nowhere to go, Rikkyo didn't do this and took care of us until the end of our stay and was very helpful. My experience is only positive.