Tuesday, 19 June 2012

My Room (Tokyo University of Foreign Studies International Hall 1)

I realised that even though I moved here in April, I haven't posted anything about the living conditions. And I would think that all those that want to come here under MEXT would be pretty curious about this topic (well, I was very curious anyway). So, to calm your worries - the living conditions at TUFS are really great.

The basics: I'm in Hall 1 (there are two halls, although they're building a third hall now). What this means is that I have a toilet in my room, while those in Hall 2 have to share a communal toilet. At least, that's what I heard from the students in Hall 2 (there was something about how that's very uncomfortable during winter).

The rooms themselves are quite small. Including my toilet, I have 15m squared of space. On each floor, the first room is occupied by a Japanese tutor, who is available for advice and support. There is a common laundry area (floor 6 and if I'm right, floor 2 as well) and two common rooms (floor 5 and floor 7). On the first floor, there is a small music room (there's a piano!), a exercise place (you can play ping pong there), a kitchen, a Japanese-style room (occasionally, there are classes like Tea Ceremony there), a TV room (with a very nice TV inside). I think there's also a study room, although most people study in the common room.

So those are the shared facilities. And now, onto to the rooms (basically, my room). So, here are the photos (Warning! A lot of photos ahead!):

 This is my room from the door

 The clothes rack is right next to the door. It's really really small. (Tip: bring as many hangers as you need when you're coming)

 And right below the clothes rack is the shoe rack. As a side note, don't you love Magic Mop? It makes cleaning so much easier!

 We have individual heaters and individual heating bills (remember to always turn off your heater when you're not using it. This is especially since electricity bills are going to go up!). While I've heard of a senpai who (apparently) never turned on his heater for the whole year, I definitely can't do that. I have another senpai that bathed in cold water during winter (with very low electricity bills as a result. If you want to try, his advice was to "try and remain conscious when the cold water first hits you."

 My mini-kitchenette! It's an electric stove (so if you get a kettle, get an electric kettle), but it's adequate for all cooking needs. Or at least, I haven't had to use the kitchen on the first floor yet.

 I use the space below the stove to store all food-related items. In the right corner is my beloved blender. Right now, I go by "which dish uses the least ingredients" method of selecting things to cook because I don't have the space to store a lot of ingredients.

 My bed. There's a board next to it, so I'm trying to fill it up before I leave. All those notes are either prayers or verses.

We have a balcony on which I can hang clothes! Can you see my name on the yellow towel? Well, you can't really see my name on my dogi (simply put, it's the kendo top) though...

 The view from my balcony during sunset! (after a bit of editing)

 The real, unedited view. This is the school track. I wake up to the soccer/baseball team practicing (I wonder how they find time to go to classes since I always see some people practicing....)

I have no space. Which is why all my clothes must be foldable (only formal wear is the exception). And yes, it's over my refrigerator) 

 My bookshelf ^^ Because of this, my room is known as a mini-library (and I lend books out too!)

This is how I decorate my library shelves - with toys from Kinder Surprise (I love Kinder Surprise. Kinder Joy? Not as much) 

I really have no room, which is why my rice cooker is next to my bed....


Just know that the toilet is small but contains a (deep) bathtub, a sink and a toilet bowl. There aren't any full-length mirrors, but there's one small-medium sized mirror hanging over the sink.

So, here's my room. It's small, but really cozy ^^

ETA1: 24/7/2014: If you need to see more of my room, +InasWH did an excellent vlog about it! Click here to go to the video

ETA2: 14/6/2015: If you're looking for information on the Osaka U-Program (the Osaka version of TUFS), +Devangi Yadav made an excellent and detailed post here

29 comments :

  1. Hi, Eustacia :)

    My name is Tamara and I'm from Indonesia.
    I'm also selected in undergraduate program (2013), so.. hello senpai :D

    I haven't got any further information about where I will get my preparatory course (Tokyo or Osaka), dorm, departure, etc. But I can't stand my curiosity, hehe

    I have some questions (if you don't mind to answer) :
    1. what furniture did you buy to "fill" your room? (ex: electronic stuffs, bed sheets, etc) are they expensive?

    2. how do you feel about the money allowance, is it enough, more than enough, or not enough?

    3. I'm still beginner in Japanese (although I've started learning it by myself, I'm sure I'm still beginner when I go there), so I'm afraid if one-year preparatory is not enough :( how do you think about that? were you already expert when you arrived there?

    I'm really looking forward to your answer. Wish you a good luck there! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Tamara,

      It's nice to meet a kouhai!

      Well, I can't say for Osaka, but I didn't have to buy furniture for my room. I think I had to pay for the bedding and such, but the furniture was here when I came.

      For this year, the allowance is definitely enough. Our rent is really cheap, so you should be able to save. That said, there are people who are broke every month, but that is definitely not normal!

      Don't worry about your proficiency. The teaching here is excellent! When I came, I could barely speak, but now, I'm not that bad. I have friends who didn't know a word when they first came, and they're fluent now(:

      I hope this helps! Feel free to ask me about anything!

      ^_^

      Delete
    2. Thanks for your reply, it surely helps :D

      I got the acceptance email and call, they said I have to send confirmation email and then wait for further info about departure, visa, etc. It all happened on December, and until now I haven't got any email/call. (Yeah I'm definitely not a patient person -__-)

      How long did you wait after getting your acceptance letter?

      Delete
    3. Hmm.... I got my official letter the day before Chinese New Year, so I think.... February or late January? Haha, it's still some time away ^^

      Delete
    4. I've got the response from embassy, they said they're still waiting the futher info from Japan, so maybe we have to wait until February :)

      Actually, there's a LOT of things that I wanna ask. One that bother me most is about communication. I heard that we must buy new handphone there because we can't use the ones that we bring from outside Japan.

      I saw your post about when you bought handphone, and I think it's great! :D (especially when I read about the camera *.*) but.. how about the price? is it expensive? It would be great if you don't mind to share the price here :)

      Delete
    5. Well, it depends. I have one senior who barely spends anything on phone bills, but he uses a very simple phone and a very basic plan.

      If you plan to get a smartphone, expect some pretty high bills. I think most of us pay about 6000yen per month. (I do hear, however, that the student plan for the iPhone is worth it).

      Delete
    6. "per month" ? I don't really understand about phone-system in Japan. I thought we buy a phone with number embedded with it, then we pay the bills as usual. what do you mean with '6000yen per month'? :s

      Actually I'm kinda interested to use the same phone like yours, hehe. or maybe iPhone if the price isn't too high..

      Delete
    7. I mean that the phone plane, plus phone (you normally pay by installment) adds up to about 6000 a month.

      Haha well, come to Japan and see! There are catalogs that show all sorts of cute phones, I honestly had a tough time deciding.

      Delete
    8. hmmm, okay and thank you :D aaah can't wait for April..

      Delete
    9. one more question (my mom keeps asking me about this), do we get pillows there? and what is the bedding's size? I plan to bring some of them from home

      Delete
    10. Oh, if you're coming to TUFS, the bedding (futon, blanket, pillow, sheets) are all provided. They will charge you for it later though. I'm actually not sure of the size, sorry ):

      Delete
  2. Hello Eustacia!
    I´m a undergraduate Mext from April 2013 and also is going to TUFS, I can only say that I hope that I don´t have to shower in cold water! No just kidding :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lugi,

      Congrats on getting the scholarship! You'll definitely have a good time here. Haha, you probably won't have to bath in cold water, although during summer, you'll want to!

      ^_^

      Delete
  3. Could you give me more details about the allowance please? About your daily basis fee for example, and your room'fee? Thank you very much ^0^

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      We all get the same scholarship amount written in the MEXT documents :D I'm not too sure what you mean about "basis fee" and "room fee"? Could you please clarify?

      Thanks!

      ^_^

      Delete
  4. I mean how do you spend on your food fee? And if you want to hang out with friends, is it enough? Sorry for troubling you >_<

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      Oh, last year, I cooked a lot, and this year, I bought my school's pre-paid meal card. We don't have a specific allowance for food, it's all from the monthly allowance MEXT gave us.

      And I have enough money for going out, but then again, I do have friends who run out every month. So I think it depends on each person.

      ^_^

      Delete
  5. Such a small and cozy room! How much is the rent for your room monthly, without bills?

    And do you know anything about the rent for family room? Like, how many people for a room and if the rent were to split by number of people staying?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      For the dormitory, it was about 17700 yen per month. You can check the rates on the TUFS website (I think), and it would be stated in the handbook.

      I'm not sure about family rooms though, I've been living in a single-person apartment/room since I came here.

      ^_^

      Delete
  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hello!
    I currently live in Japan to learn the Japanese language. I was hoping to get into tufs, I wanted to ask you if its difficult to get in. how is the entrance exam? and do you mind if I ask what are you studying. thanks a lot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello,

      I'm sorry, but I don't know how hard it is to get in (I do know that it's one of the top universities, and the entrance exams are supposed to be difficult though). I came in with MEXT, so I was there just to study the language.

      All the best!

      ^_^

      Delete
  8. Hi!
    I am going to TUFS as an exchange student this October and I was hoping if you could answer me some questions?

    I heard that most exchange students like me end up getting a room in International Residence Hall 2, meaning there's no private shower. But I also heard that the room however has a toilet though..? unlike what you mentioned on your post.

    So I'm just really confused right now ;_;

    Hope my question won't bother you much!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      I haven't been to International Hall 2, but from what I hear, there are only common-toilets. International Hall 1 has private toilets and that's the big difference between the two halls.

      Hope this clears it up!

      ^_^

      Delete
  9. Hi, just like joe kang there is the possibility I will attend TUFS as an exchange student... could I ask you some question?

    I read that you pay 17700 per month for your room, it would be an awesome price but on the TUFS' website it says:
    "Current average monthly living costs total to about \80,000 for students living in the TUFS International Residences. This breaks down as follow (estimates) -
    Rent and Common Area Fees ¥21,000~¥46,000(for single room only)"
    It says 46000 for single room... why is the price that high? :(
    Do you have a single room, right?

    And another question: the dormitory is near the university?
    Thanks in advance!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey!

      The dormintory is on the campus itself! Although one of my friends came to TUFS for a short term exchange program and ended up staying in a different dormitory (a bus ride away).

      I think the price breakdown depends on the type of room. I'm really not sure though, since the Monbusho arranged everything. I think your university would have a cost-list though, perhaps you could ask them?

      Sorry I can't help more.

      Delete
  10. Don't worry, thanks anyway for your help! At last I found the information I was looking for. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you got the information!

      ^_^

      Delete

Thank you so much for reading and commenting! I love to hear your opinions and stories! (And if you want to guest post, do let me know too!)

If you have a question about the MEXT scholarship, please check the FAQs and anti-FAQs to see if it's been covered.