On the first day I arrived at APU was raining. RA(Resident Assistant)s from various countries such as Japan, China, Hongkongm, and Korea welcomed new residents of AP House, which was the student dormitory, and informed the very changeable weather in APU. Soon, I could experience strong wind, rain, and sun there, especially when it was raining with strong wind, you’d better to give up using umbrella because it would be definitely broken in few minutes. Besides, a change of temperature was also big. Even though I went there in April, it was still very cold in the morning and at night.
AP House was impressively good. I stayed at a single room of AP House II. The building and furniture in the room were new and clean. In a single room, there were a closet, desk, chair, refrigerator, toilet, basin, and bed. A Kitchen, laundry room, and shower rooms were shared with students of the same floor. They were kept always clean because every resident should participate in cleaning the kitchen at least once in a month, which was called ‘kitchen duty’. From AP House to the F building, the furthest distance in APU, took about 15mins on foot.
The campus was not that big, but clean and well-managed. The scenery from APU was fantastic! You can see the entire Beppu city and the sea from APU. However, you have to put up with inconvenience of transport. Bus tickets are quite expensive, and it takes about 45mins to the city center. If you do not want to go to the downtown just for grocery shopping, you can wait for the Friday market opening at the front of AP House I. You can buy vegetable and fruits from there. Besides, you can use the gym if you attend the gym guidance, and the cafeteria offers many delicious foods at a cheap price.
I majored APM (Asia Pacific Managemet) there. To be honest, the quality of major classes was not very satisfactory. The class size was big (around 150 students), and the students were not so motivated. However, some of them were still good. I suggest you asking regular students which classes or professors are good and bad. Then, you could take better classes. On the contrary, Japanese class in APU was pretty good. Every class had less than 20 students, and the curriculum was easy to follow. Actually, I learned Japanese a lot through the class.
Students and staffs in APU were very kind and friendly. Although I had some difficulties at the first time because it was almost impossible to communicate with Japanese-based students in English, I could get along well with many exchange and regular students from different countries soon. Now, I’m really satisfied with the time that I spent in APU. I would never be able to forget it.
Choi Hyeon-ju (Economics, 4)
Choi studied at Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University for the spring semester of 2008.
Choi poses with her friends in front of Osaka Castle