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In this interview, David Williams asks one year exchange students Agata, Andrea and Maciek about some of the differences between student life in Japan, Hungary and Poland.

1. How does student life look like in Poland? ポーランドでの大学生活はどうですか?
Agata: It is said that being a student is the best time of life and mostly it's true. However, in Poland student life is very busy and there are many students who study for double degrees (i.e. two majors at the same time) or who try to start a career early.
Unlike Japan it isn’t so popular for students in Poland to be involved in university life after classes. Of course, there are students who are involved in student committees, sports teams, or scientific groups but these are less popular than in Japan.
There are also some things similar to Japan. For example, in Poland each faculty has an orientation for freshman students but this is in the form of an integration camp. Each university also holds a festival but these are held in early summer.


2. What about dormitory life at JIU? How does it compare to your home country?寮の生活についてはどうですか?
Andrea: The AGV at the Awa Campus is much more convenient than the dormitory in my university in Hungary. In Budapest I have to travel for 40 minutes or sometimes one hour to get to my university. Here, I can be at my classes in 10 minutes. I love living in the dormitory and the AGV is very multi-cultural. We have a lot of opportunities to meet students from many other countries. Thanks to its location we can also enjoy a nice view of the ocean and nature every day.
Maciek: In Poland, it really depends on the university. There are universities with their own dormitories, and there are also independent dormitories with students from different universities. I can also say that rules are different from Japan. For example, in my dormitory in Poland we didn`t have cleaning duties, there was always a person in charge of cleaning the common room. In the Awa Global Village there is someone who checks everything is ok everyday, while in Poland students have to handle everything by themselves.

3. How are class schedules different in Poland? ポーランドの予定表は日本と違っていますか?
Maciek: For me, the main difference is that you can choose classes by yourself. In most Polish universities there are compulsory classes which you must attend but you don’t have many other options. In Japan, your final class schedule often depends on your choices. At the same time, in Japan classes are held on Saturdays whereas in Poland we have no classes scheduled on the weekends.
Agata: In Poland the university day starts very early at 8am, so I really appreciate the later starting time we have for classes at the AWA campus. On the other hand as we register all our class information via the internet it saves a lot of time, this also means there is less paper wastage than in Japan. Classes are also a little different. In Poland I feel there is a clearer distinction between lectures, seminars and workshops.

4. How does JIU differ from your home universities? JIUは自分の大学とどのように違っていますか?
Andrea: It seems there that in Japan the university is more involved in student life than at home. For example, there are more extracurricular activities and events that students can take part in. In Hungary, these things are usually handled by the teachers. Most often here in JIU they involve us in the organizational part too, which is nice, because we can express our opinions and concerns. Guidelines for handling and organizing events are more straightforward.

5. What do you think about living as a student in Kamogawa? 鴨川の学生生活についてどう思いますか?
Andrea: Compared to Budapest, student life here is more quiet and intimate. So, the overall it feels friendlier here. At the same time as Kamogawa is a smaller town than Budapest I have had to get used to public transport being less frequent, and of course the cost of living is generally higher here than at home. In Hungary students are entitled to a lot of different discounts but here we have to pay the full adult price for things.



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