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William SjahrialJakarta, Indonesia
I'm studying in the SILAC Program. Its given me a lot of chances to practise speaking Japanese. At university I was only studying grammar and rarely used it outside the classroom, whereas here I'm forced to speak it all the time.
What were you doing before you came to Yamasa?
I've been studying CompSci at Georgia Tech for the past 3 years. I'm a senior there now.
Did you start as a beginner?
No I studied Japanese for a year in Atlanta. But we used Romaji only, I think studying using the hiragana and katakana here at Yamasa is much better. It helps reading a lot more.
How much Japanese did you study in Atlanta?
It was only 3 hours per week for 2 semesters. 1 semester is only 12 weeks long. A bit different to the 23 hours a week I'm getting here.
How long have you been at Yamasa?
I've been here for 10 weeks now.
Is this the first time you have lived in Japan?
Yes. I hadn't visited before except for 1 hour at Narita airport once.
What are you plans after graduation?
I'm going back to Georgia to finish my degree and then I hope to be able to come to Japan and get some work experience here.
Where are you living at the moment?
I'm in a shared room in the student village.
What is your accommodation like?
Its great. Its not as small as I expected - I figured it would be very small and "Japanese". The LAN access is good. The caretaker is very friendly. What I really like is the 24 hour convenience store just outside the door. Its like having a huge refrigerator all pre-stocked for you.
I played badminton down at the city gym near Jusco. That was fun. I also went dancing. I went to the OIA latin dancing party and had a good time there. One of the teachers is also into salsa dancing so I practised dancing with her as well sometimes.
How do you get to classes?
I have a "mama-chariot" bicycle. It takes me about 3 minutes or so to ride down the hill to the Institute.
What is the biggest challenge or problem you've faced so far in Japan?
Going back is a problem. But no real problems as such. I got lost once but in its own way it was kind of fun.
Any surprises you would like to share?
The food in the restuarants is usually as big as in the pictures and is very good.
If a new student was entering your class today and asked for some advice, what would you say?
Its a different country and you shouldn't expect things to be the same as in your own. Enjoy the differences and make the most of it.
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