Ritsumeikan University was indeed very different from my Florida campus. When I wanted to visit the university for the first time since arriving, the dorm mentors told me to just keep going uphill on the main road for about ten minutes. I do have to admit I was kind of skeptical at the beginning as I thought it was just too easy to be true, but later I realized what they were referring to. It was indeed about a ten-minute walk from my dorm. I managed to see a building with the same color pattern to that of my university and decided to follow a small path leading to it. I knew that it wasn’t the main entrance but it had to be an entrance nonetheless.
Lastly, I managed to enter through what I believe that should be the main entrance. The reason for this being that a key distinction that people make on Ritsumeikan University is that it has a big clocktower with a big yard in front and a walkway right in the middle of it. It was exactly through this entrance that I first stepped into my university in Japan. My excitement grew as I recognized the clocktower and proceeded to check the rest of the university.
In comparison to my university in Florida, I do have to admit that Ritsumeikan was quite smaller. However, it had some facilities that the other one didn’t have. For example, there was a big field with fake grass on it where people could do all sorts of extracurricular activities, from playing catch to just lying down and catching a conversation with friends. It also had tables around the area and even a small stage for people to make announces and such.
I quickly mapped out the International Center, which was where I had to report myself for orientation and other official events. Orientation actually took about a week, which I felt was a bit long at first, but necessary as all the students had to enroll in mandatory programs such as insurance and the COOP Card, which was a system connected only to the university. One could deposit cash in said card and use it to buy in the stores within the university and in the cafeteria. It was through all the struggles of doing all the paperwork, which had to be done in Japanese, to which I joined other international students and got to make new friends.