Nothing like starting the day like a disgruntled old man, knarked at something he could never control to begin with. Well that’s a partial lie since I went to bed feeling that way anyway. No I’m not going to bang on about how much harder the Japanese course at Leeds has become, pointing in particular reference to how by skipping an entire book we’ve almost caught up on the final year students (i think we’re one chapter behind them and they’ve had an extra year) because I’ll save that for the Japanese blog itself, since it’s been a while since I wrote anything there.
Think of a time you’ve been asked to give feedback on an experience you’ve had so it can be made better for the next group. What kind of thing did you write/say? Surely whatever words you gave wouldn’t really matter to you because you’ve had your time, and you would receive the benefits of any improvements anyway right? Still though you put down what you think and be on your way. Well I was chatting to a friend of mine who’s studying at Konan this year and it seems some of our words were taken on board for this years new group of exchange students.
With the exception of a couple of students who are doing a shorter exchange program, everyone has a homestay. This is something I said from early on was crucial and hated the idea that (in my year) only student from the IC (Illinois Consortium) were guaranteed the homestay, especially when IC students wanted to change famillies and new ones were ‘discovered’. So I am actually genuinely glad that all the Leeds students now have the chance to live with a Japanese familly as I know this will help there Japanese skills greatly (not to mention it’ll save them a hell of a lot of money).
What really caused me a great deal of pain on the inside to such a degree that I was wretching over my laptop, almost vomiting everywhere was in relation to the scholarships. If you read the blog last year you’ll know I was exploring Japan (a small bit of anyway) on pretty much a shoe string budget, and how I hated when students (mainly the already wealthy ones) would waste their JASSO scholarships on things like hangbags and shoes. The JASSO (Japan Student Services Organization) scholarship is large cash amount (80,000 yen a month, plus an 80,000 yen relocation allowance on arrival) given to students so that they can get the most out of their time in Japan and learn more about Japan’s culture etc. Within the Leeds students we were allocated 1 JASSO scholarship, which I’m happy to say it was given to a student living in a dorm who really did make the most of it.
Those who didn’t get JASSO were given a smaller scholarship of just 8,000 yen a month to try and live on (as I mentioned us living in a dorm still had to buy food a lot of the time. During the conversation with my mate it seems that “pretty much everyone out of the 45 ryuugakusei got jasso because they apparently had loads left over this year”. Don’t get me wrong I’m happy that all the Leeds students got it this year, and it’s nice to see that our comments about our financial worries (especially when the exchange rate died) were responded to, but it was the “left over” part that really made me feel well and trully shafted.
I’m off to do some housework. I don’t really feel much like studying this weekend. Though funnily enough I had an idea for a shirt design: “Things aren’t fair, so get over it!” ^_^