School begins next week, but I have been going to Rikkyo’s Ikebukuro campus since last week for the school orientation. The orientation is 2-week long, and we meet about 2-3 hours every day. Each day, we cover a different aspect of student life at Rikkyo such as how to sign up for class or how to use the library, etc. So far, the most useful orientation is about course enrollment. It is very nice to have the professors coming to the orientation to talk about the courses’ expectation. The most interesting (and frustrating) part of course enrollment at Rikkyo is that some courses have a limited number of seats for international students, so we need to apply for a “lottery” to see if we win the ticket to be eligible to enroll. Two of the class I really want to take are like this, and I don’t know if I am lucky enough to get in yet.
Also, students who want to take Japanese language courses need to take a placement test on the first day of the orientation, which I did because improving my language skills is one of my main goals at Rikkyo. We have separated tests for each skill: grammar, writing, reading, listening & conversation. Back when I was learning Japanese at Ohio State, we did not focus much on writing in Japanese and Japanese characters (Kanji), so I thought my competency level of reading and writing would be far behind that of other skills. but to my surprise, I was placed into level 5 (out of 8) for all skills.
Personally, I feel the orientation is unnecessary time-consuming because we do not cover much information at each session, and almost every thing is mentioned in the school’s website. However, I do enjoy getting to know other international students. Most of the students I have talked to are from Europe, and they can speak at least 2 languages. I have met two other students from America as well, and both of them are from New York. After the orientation, we tend to go for a walk or coffee together in Ikebukuro. Everyone is so friendly and I believe we will get to know more about each other as we go through the semester.