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Ritsumeikan or NUFS for Study Abroad?

#1
Hey, guys

I'm planning on studying abroad next year and my school offers both Ritsumeikan University (located in Kyoto) and Nagoya University of Foreign Studies. I'm really boggled on which one I should attend although I'm leaning more toward NUFS. A big deciding factor is the location. I'm more of a city person but I didn't want the cluster and crowds of Tokyo, and I heard Nagoya is more "nightlife" than Kyoto. I'm aware that Kyoto is close to Osaka (which I really want to visit because of the nightlife and people), but when I take into account the "far-out" location of Ritsumeikan, it would still take an hour to get to Osaka (correct me if I'm wrong on that). So I'm assuming it would be better to just go to Nagoya and go to Sakae whenever I want some fun. I'm not into temples and such so I don't feel like I'm losing much by not going to Kyoto. And if I ever decided to go to Tokyo or Osaka it'd be better to take a couple day trip there, right? 

The school itself isn't a big factor since I'm aware I won't really be able to learn Japanese unless its outside of the classroom. The area Ritsumeikan is located is no where near the city so wouldn't it be harder to get that practice in? Price isn't an issue since tuition at both schools is waived. 

I suppose reading sounds like I should just go to Nagoya, but I really wanted other peoples' opinions  Smile
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#2
(2016-08-09, 4:50 pm)Candyce Wrote: The school itself isn't a big factor since I'm aware I won't really be able to learn Japanese unless its outside of the classroom.
I'm not entirely sure what you mean by this -- could you elaborate?
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#3
I plugged it into Google Maps, and by train, the distance between Ritsumeikan to Osaka is about the same as the distance between NUFS to Sakae from the looks of it. Sounds a little weird to me, but I suppose it's because you'd need to stop at every stop to get to Sakae. I haven't been to NUFS before but I know there's not really much exciting going on in the area of Ritsumeikan.

As for nightlife, Kyoto has some bars and such but not as many as other places like Osaka or Tokyo. Can't speak too much about Nagoya. I don't really go to bars or clubs much but I know there are at least a few decent sized clubs in Nagoya. I spend my time hanging out at livehouses seeing concerts and shooting the shit with people as far as nightlife goes, which I was able to easily do in Kyoto.

Quote:The school itself isn't a big factor since I'm aware I won't really be able to learn Japanese unless its outside of the classroom.
I would say this only really applies to Japanese classes at foreign universities. Depending on the program you try to enter, it could be fairly intense. But it really depends on the school and I have no idea how the Japanese classes are either of those schools are so I can't say.

Quote:The area Ritsumeikan is located is no where near the city so wouldn't it be harder to get that practice in?
At any rate, you're going to be at a real university. Generally you are allowed to join clubs and such, so if you're really looking to have fun and also practice your Japanese then joining a club and hanging out with people you meet there would probably help a lot. Plus they'll know where all of the good spots are already. If you're as outgoing as you make yourself out to be with wanting to hit up the nightlife so much, you shouldn't have a problem getting practice in at school.
Edited: 2016-08-09, 5:59 pm
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#4
It looks like NUFS is pretty much on the outskirts of the city as well, and as mentioned you pretty much have to take the entire yellow line to get to Sakae, which takes a comparable amount of time to get to Osaka. Although, presumably because its a local subway instead of train going between cities, it will only cost you half the price to get there. Also keep in mind (I don't know Osaka very well), that where you want to go in Osaka might not be at Osaka station, so you might need to take an additional train from there if that's where you are arriving

As far as Sakae my impression was that it's like a smaller, less crowded Shibuya (and in Nagoya), although I was never into much of the nightlife. There were definitely things to do there at night if that's your thing, and I had friends who would frequently make it down there for such an experience. It's a nice city to live in, and there is still plenty to do without the temples. Plus, it's a good halfway point between Tokyo and Kyoto/Osaka should you wish to take trips to the two areas
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#5
Nightlife != only bars and clubs. Kyoto has plenty of izakaya, and the riverside ones are especially spectacular (although, maybe not affordable as a regular destination on a student budget). Kyoto also enjoys plenty of cultural events. I've found it quite easy to meet people and have fun at matsuri, cultural exchange events, and beer/food festivals. You won't find the sort of drunken revelry you find at bars or clubs, but such events have their own charms.

I should also add that you can spend a lifetime exploring the cultural treasures of Kyoto—and I'm not just talking about sightseeing. A lot of traditional crafts and arts are kept alive only in Kyoto.

Even if you're not into any of the cultural stuff, Kyoto at nighttime is magical. Stepping out of an izakaya in Gion and walking along the Shirakawa canal or the Kamo river would be incredible.

Not to mention, Osaka, Kobe, and Nara are all closer to Ritsumeikan. If you're worried about making it back to your dorm, then don't. Just do what the Japanese do: sleep at a karaoke place. In fact, the nightlife at a karaoke place can be even wilder than what you'd find at a bar or club.
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#6
I personally agree with vileru, my preference is for less modernized ways to meet people and have fun, which Kyoto has plenty of. I would rather be in the far outskirts of Kyoto than in the near outskirts of Nagoya (not sure if that description exactly matches these schools' locations).
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#7
Hey I realize this is really late, but I actually studied at NUFS. I took about 2 years of Japanese at at my home university before getting there, making it almost through Genki II. I only spent 1 semester there, but I tested into a higher beginner class and learned a ton. When I was there, the Japanese course was 3 hours of classes every morning, and then you could take electives in English in the afternoon on various topics (economics, marketing, film, etc).

I thought it was fantastic and definitely recommend it.
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