It has been a while, but I’ve been being my usual self and leaving things till last minute – oh the joys of assignments and homework! After finally submitting in my Cultural Report to UTS, I officially have to complete the 1st methodology assignment by the end of this month… YAY! So excited. A lot of the information in this blog was originally going to go into my Cultural Report, but I changed topics last minute.
Alright, let’s make this short and sweet. The title is pretty much the overview of what I’ll be covering here. First month into life at HUE (Hokkaido University of Education) and it has been interesting to say the least! I’ll just talk about the main points on why life at HUE has been interesting. I arrived on the 2nd of April, tired and lacking sleep from 24 hours of transit…
First part that we had to deal with was the orientation. Unfortunately, our flights had not coincided with the dates of the school orientation and we missed out on the activities. I was personally bummed out by this because I could not meet a lot of the other students and I couldn’t see how the school ran. As an active member of the UTS Orientation through the Peer Network, I wanted to compare notes and see how different it would be… I guess that was a fail. Nonetheless, our orientation was conducted right after we had landed. That’s right, after 24 hours of being in transit, we had to sit in the office with a worker who explained to us all of the important information we needed in Japanese. There was no point using English because they didn’t understand you. How stupid is that? We had our 20kg+ luggages there with us, sitting in an office and listening to a clerk explain timetable schedules and important meetings before school started in Japanese. I cannot stress to you how bad that felt. Nothing went through our heads that day, but we just had to nod and smile.
Note for next time: Consider doing it the next day or show us to the apartments/dorms so we could freshen up first.
The second crazy thing would have to be the Clubs Day. In Japan, we call clubs “circles” and you can differentiate with which one is more serious than the other, but all are serious. Having been active in clubs and societies at UTS, I thought I had seen it all. It was a Sunday, we entered through the front doors of the school. Everything looked normal… until you stepped foot inside the building. That minute of my life was such a blur because all you could do was walk and follow the direction of the crowd you were being pushed towards. Flyers in your face, flyers straight into your hands, flyers everywhere. Flyers for all types of clubs and circles. The end of the line was a lecture room, where there would be presentations from EVERY SINGLE CLUB/CIRCLE.
There were so many clubs that it would’ve taken 4 hours to listen to all of their presentations. I sat there for 3/4 of the presentations, but I couldn’t take it anymore. There was about a 5-10 minute break every hour, but it would depend if they were running on time or late behind schedule. During the break, the clubs would just use that opportunity to pounce on the students again to convince them to join their clubs. I knew this was a big event because there were two hosts for this event! Their job was to try to hype up the crowd and crack jokes to keep everyone entertained.
Speaking of which, a lot of the clubs know that they’re competing with other clubs, so in order to make their club more memorable, they do some crazy things! There were a few showcases that were really interesting and captivating. Here are some that caught my attention… Brass Orchestra, In the Loop (they had a competition to see who could eat the spring onion the fastest for their presentation) and the acapella group, Million.
Clubs/circles/societies in Japan require a lot more time than it would in Sydney. I was probably only used to meeting up once a week for 3 hours for the UTS Glee Club. The YOSAKOI (Ibuki) club that I wanted to join here had 5 rehearsals a week, with each rehearsal going for 3 hours during the night. To top it off, they had camps that were intense. I haven’t officially joined any clubs as of yet due to the constant need to complete my assignments and homework… but hopefully I’ll make time for it soon!
There are a few other differences between Japan and Australia, and I’ll be sure to write more about it next time, for now… this looks like a sufficiently long post… more to come soon! Finally, a quick congratulations to all the recent graduates at UTS – I am so jealous that I am unable to be there in person, but I love y’all and I hope you guys enjoyed your graduations! 😀 …To the next chapter in your lives!