FAQ » Connecting
With so much school, is there time for a social life?
Yes, there is. Once you get used to the pace of so much focused learning (and you will!), you may find that it energizes you. Learning in an exciting place often does. If you manage your schedule well and use a little “metacognition” to watch yourself learn and solve challenges, you’ll figure out what you need for studying and what works for fun, for you.
Your fellow students are your best starting pool of fun-companions. The KCP student handbook and other resources, as well as your teachers and KCP staff, will be great sources for what to do for fun. If you’re serious about learning, you’ll naturally find (and make) the right time to relax and explore Japan.
What kinds of social events does KCP organize where students can experience Japanese social life?
Of course, “social life” is not just a matter of having a party or an activity. It is an ongoing, complex, ever-changing dynamic. You can derive some social life through your host family experience; or living in a dorm with other young people helps too. You need to be patient, and sometimes an active social life means giving up your preconceptions to consider the traditions Japanese live by.
Regular events that we enjoy at KCP include Sports Day, Hina-matsuri, Ohanami (cherry appreciation), Children’s Day, Tanabata, seasonal festivals, speech contests, and so on. KCP provides excursions and activities for American students, as well as excursions and informal school events. KCP staff organize all types of events—journeys (long and short), music lessons, tea ceremonies, cookouts, park picnics, cooking lessons, performances (both watching and taking part), and so on. They are also open to ideas.
Most students move rapidly into organizing outings with their new friends as well. The key is to make the effort to be friendly. Virtually all students who do so, leave the program having made many very good friends from other places with whom they stay in contact.
Do KCP students have chances to practice their Japanese outside of class?
Absolutely—there are many opportunities to practice your Japanese outside of class. The staff and faculty are always eager to get you to communicate in Japanese. Also important is the fact that English speaking students are a minority at KCP. Therefore, most of your classmates are from non-English speaking countries like South Korea, China, Thailand, Vietnam, or Malaysia. The only vehicular language is Japanese. Students have found that befriending their Asian counterparts is one of the best and most productive ways of practicing their Japanese outside of class. And most of these Asian students are genuinely interested in getting to know their American counterparts.
Do students have many opportunities to meet Japanese peers? If yes, what kinds of opportunities?
U.S. students at KCP enjoy events such as a cooking class with Japanese college students and conversation class with native speakers of Japanese. Some of our language classes invite Japanese guests so that students can practice Japanese with native speakers.
Is there a Tokyo social website for city events that students have used?
If my flight is delayed and I arrive late to the terminal, how should I get to KCP?
If your flight is delayed beyond the 3:30 pm arrival time when we can meet you, call us as soon as you can. Generally, we suggest that you take the Narita Limousine bus to Shinjuku Station. (Be sure to call us ahead of time, telling us your arrival time at Shinjuku, so that we can meet you.) But every situation is different, so the best is to call us as soon as you can. If you arrive very late in the evening, it’s best (and safest) to stay at a hotel in Narita for the night. KCP, the dorms, and the host families cannot do late-night check-ins. Then, call KCP the next morning and take a limousine bus as described above.
I want to get in touch with native students as well as international students. Do the dormitories only have international students or do native students stay there too?
Some dorms include Japanese people; others are more for KCP students.
The office staff were incredible. Tanaka-san and Michiko-san were very involved with the American students, following up on any problems. They escorted me to doctors (more than once) and helped me get my medication. Without their kindness, I would’ve been in a lot of trouble.