Hello! My name is Eustacia and I’m currently a first year student at Kyushu University. This piece is really to try and persuade you all that Fukuoka is an excellent place to live, and that Kyushu University is a great school.
Kyushu University is one of the ex-Imperial Universities, which make it one of the top universities in Japan. It’s also ranked 20th in Asia according to the QS University Rankings, so it really is a fairly good school.
Here, the first year and a half is for general education, which means you can take a range of subjects like Latin and Ancient Greek (and yes, I take both). Apart from that, it’s compulsory to take two foreign languages. Most foreign students take Japanese and English, then score very highly in TOEFL so they can get the credits for English without having to take the class.
And since Kyushu University is one of the G30 universities, they have courses conducted in English, so that’s another option if you don’t want to spend an extra year studying Japanese/have no Japanese ability whatsoever.
Plus, if you enter from the year 2015 onwards, you will be spending all your time at the very pretty Ito Campus (currently, all students spend their first year and a half at Ito, then move to wherever their major happens to be):
And even though Ito Campus is considered very ulu here, it will still take you less time to get from the Campus to the airport than say, from the Mitaka Dormitory in Tokyo to Narita or Haneda (much much less them, you can probably get there in an hour).
I chose Kyushu mainly because I came here with my school while I was Sec 3 and fell in love with the place. Apart from that, Kyushu is supposed to be extremely livable (so far, I haven’t found any evidence to the contrary) and it feels much less crowded than Tokyo.
For those of you concerned with living fees in Japan – well, Kyushu is much much cheaper than most cities (especially Tokyo, and probably Osaka). In particular, rent and parking charges are much much less.
Places of Interest
I’ve actually been having a hugely positive experience so far. Everyone is very welcoming and I’ve been having a good time travelling. For example, about two hours away from Fukuoka, there’s Huis Ten Bosch:
It’s based on Holland, and if you ever feel the need to go to Europe, well, you can do that here in Japan too!
Closer to Fukuoka is Noukonoshima (能古島), which is a peaceful little island easily accessible by boat:
Within Fukuoka itself, there’s Marinoa Outlet Mall (which incidentally is about 30 minutes away from my home – 15 minutes to the bus stop, 15 minutes by bus)
You can find a full list of shops in the website, but some of my favourites at the Muji Outlet store and the golf shop. There are also quite a few restaurants and cafes (including Krispy Kreme and Starbucks), so you can really spend a full day there.
Advice to Prospective Students
If you have specific questions, you can pass them to anyone in the SSAJ Exco and they will forward it to me.