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Going to class 1 - Free bikes Going to class 1 - Free bikes 20040912-1goingtoclass1.jpg
Bikes are much more popular for actually getting around places in Japan than they are in America (hint hint). Outside of the NWEC dormitories, there was this place where you could rent a bike to ride around campus for free. Unfortunately, you couldn't use it to go around the surrounding city; a friend and I wanted to ride up to the supermarket, but we just ended up walking.
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Going to class 2 - Free umbrellas Going to class 2 - Free umbrellas 20040912-1goingtoclass2.jpg
And here you have a bunch of umbrellas, also free for communal use. These you don't need to check out. Umbrellas are used ALL the time in Japan, and many places have spots for people to put their umbrellas when they enter. They're basically public property all across Japan.
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Going to class 3 - Bridge Going to class 3 - Bridge 20040912-1goingtoclass3.jpg
Just about every day at orientation, we had to walk across a very nice scenic bridge to get to our Japanese language review classes. It was maybe a 5-minute walk in total, and it was quite pleasant.
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Going to class 4 - Pond Going to class 4 - Pond 20040912-1goingtoclass4.jpg
One of the coolest sights on the way to our classes (that I got to pass by each and every day!) was this pond here. It was very, very peaceful and always had some sort of cricket or treefrog noise around it. Sometimes you could even see those huge gold and white Japanese fish swimming in the water, which was always a nice sight to see.
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Going to class 5 - Approaching class Going to class 5 - Approaching class 20040912-1goingtoclass5.jpg
And one more shot of the way to class. Just a nice, relaxing, scenic route. ^__^
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Dining hall 1 Dining hall 1 20040912-2dininghall1.jpg
There was a cafeteria-style dining hall on the first floor of our building, which is where we ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner pretty much every day. Sometimes we went out other places for grub, but I personally ate here most of the time because I liked the food. It was pretty big, and off to the left you can see a water dispenser. The glasses you got were itty-bitty, though... just like everything in Japan. o_O
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Dining hall 2 Dining hall 2 20040912-2dininghall2.jpg
And another shot of the dining hall... essentially looking in the other direction, now. *laughs* In this shot you can see the tea dispenser; yes, tea is like water over here. All the food was served cafeteria-style, but unfortunately I wasn't able to get a picture of the food line.
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Classes again 1 Classes again 1 20040912-3backtoclass1.jpg
This is just a random shot of some of my fellow Japan Study students waiting around for classes to begin. That's about it.
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Classes again 2 Classes again 2 20040912-3backtoclass2.jpg
Our Japanese language classes were split into two categories: ACT and FACT. ACT had four levels of proficiency, and FACT had two. At the end of each day's class, we had to go and sign up for the next day's class.

In a nutshell, the theory behind this stuff is that you need FACTual knowledge to understand Japanese, but if you don't ACTually use it in simulated situations you probably won't retain it well. So, FACT sessions were more grammar oriented, while ACT sessions were more role-play oriented.
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Meeting Waseda students 1 Meeting Waseda students 1 20040912-4meetingstudents1.jpg
Later that day, we had a chance to meet some Waseda students and introduce ourselves to them. We actually had an assignment to collect names, ages, majors, and hobbies, but after we did that we pretty much just enjoyed ourselves. We even went out to eat with them at a restaurant when everything was said and done, which was great fun. Japanese restaurants are so yummy.
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Meeting Waseda students 2 Meeting Waseda students 2 20040912-4meetingstudents2.jpg
Hah, you thought you'd be able to see a picture of the restaurant we ate at, didn't you? Unfortunately, I forgot to take my camera along. Long story. Instead, here's another picture of us talking to the Waseda students. Or student, for that matter.
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