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Hordur ThordarsonReykjavik, Iceland
I'm studying in the SILAC for 4 weeks
What were you doing before you came to Yamasa?
Working as a meteorologist for the Icelandic Meteorological Institute in Reykjavik.
Did you start as a beginner?
I had studied some Japanese but after I did my placement test at Yamasa I started at the beginner level.
Where did you study Japanese before?
In Iceland. The University of Iceland offers some evening programs. Its for 2 hours with 2 classes per week as part of the continuing education program. I studied there for 2 semesters.
How long have you been at Yamasa?
Almost 3 weeks now. I finish next week.
Is this the first time you have lived in Japan?
Yes its the first time. I have been here before as a tourist for 3 weeks but I was always travelling - so this is the longest time I've been living in one Japanese city. I've done a fair bit of travelling this time as well though. I just got back from Tokyo.
What are you plans after graduation?
I have to go back to work. This is my holiday.
Where are you living at the moment?
I'm staying in one of the studio apartments at Yamasa Villa 4.
Single or Shared?
Single. I like my own space so I booked a single.
What is your accommodation like?
Its very convenient, and an adequate size for me. Its practical because everything I want is provided.
How do you get to classes?
I rented a second hand mountain bike - it takes me less than 5 minutes to get to the campus.
What is the biggest challenge or problem you've faced so far in Japan?
Communication with Japanese people. I don't think that is really a problem, more that I am still new to the language. Everyone has been very courteous and helpful.
Any surprises you would like to share?
No, not really. All the information I had before I came to Japan was very good. All the questions I had were answered before I came. So everything is much as I expected.
Is there any particular event or activity that you have enjoyed while you are here?
Spending time with Japanese people, especially playing Go games in Okazaki and in Tokyo. I really enjoy playing the game but in Iceland there aren't many people who know the game's rules. I often work late night shifts at the meterological Institute and pass the time playing Go. But I normally only get to play Go over the internet. So when I arrived in Okazaki I asked Yamasa staff where I could play Go and they took me to a small Go club near Okazaki station where I could play all afternoon. It was fun to play face to face with people this time.
If a new student was entering your class today and asked for some advice, what would you say?
I would advise them to approach their studies here seriously. The pace of the SILAC program is very fast. You learn very quickly but you need to do a lot of reviewing, get the homework done and do extra study so that you can get the most from the studies.
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