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Ing. Michal Zálešák, Tomas Bata University in Zlin, ročník 1

Faculty Technology
Field of study Environmental Engineering
Field of internship Natural Resources and Conservation
Specialization of Internship- - - - - - - - - -
Internship period (from - to) 3.8.2015 - 25.9.2015
Internship duration (weeks) 8
Transport (means, price) By air from Prague to Tokyo, 13000CZK (return ticket) + Shinkansen fom Tokyo to Osaka, 2700CZK
Insurance/Insurance company CSOB
Visa/Work permit (yes/no) No
Price of Visa -
City of Internship Zobrazit místo na mapě  Japan, Osaka
Internship reference number JP-2015-000050

About the country

Location of the place

Japan, an island nation in east Asia, is an archipelago (large group of islands) located east of the Korean peninsula. Among four main Japanese islands are Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, and Shikoku. Japan is bordered by the Pacific Ocean on the north and east, by the Philippine Sea and the East China Sea to the south, and by the Sea of Japan/East Sea on the west.


Osaka prefecture is located in the midwest region of the Japanese archipelago, adjacent to Kyoto, and Nara, Hyogo, and Wakayama prefectures. It is surrounded by the Hokusetsu mountains to the north, the Kongo-Ikoma mountains to the east, the Izumi-Katsuragi mountains to the south, and faces Osaka Bay to the west.
Osaka is a large metropolitan city with plenty of opportunities for spending of free time. It is third biggest city in Japan with population over 3 million people and if counted its prefectures then it is around 15 million people living in Osaka. Quite frankly, I prefer rather less crowded and calmer places. Anyway, I found myself very lucky to be in Osaka because of its truly strategic location for trips around. Among worth visiting places in Osaka belong Osaka Castle, Dotonbori street, Osaka Aquarium, and Osaka observing tower with an amazing overview on the city.

Surroundings (possible trips, ...)

Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan are among must visiting places and all of them can be easily reach from Osaka by train.
Kyoto is a unique city with its ancient architecture full of temples, shrines, beautiful gardens, and with a spectacular castle. It is the city which has never been destroyed during WWII so that all historical places have been preserved.
Nara is former capital city of Japan and contains variety of shrines and temples. The most amazing building is the Todaiji Temple, which is the biggest wooden construction ever built on our planet earth. By the way Nara is full of "wild" deers that make this city even more special.
Koyasan is placed in mountains with altitude over 900 meters above the sea level and it is know as an important place for pilgrims from all over the world. The main attraction is an old graveyard where many known Japanese people were buried.

Furthermore, I would recommend to visit the Himeji castle and of course Hiroshima city that can be reach from Shin-Osaka by Shinkansen in less than 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Finally, I strongly recommend to buy so called "Japan Rail Pass" that can be bought only from foreign country, but not in Japan. I just can not imagine my stay in Japan without this 7-days tickets that applies almost on all trains, and some busses and ferries of the JR company. To learn more about Japan Rail Pass, click on the following link:



Osaka Institute of Technology, The Environment Solution Center, which supports the development of new technologies that contribute to the sustainable development of urban areas. At the Center, workers/students analyze information and technological developments of large enterprises and venture corporations for research on environmental solutions. Among main purposes are included environmental preservation, and environmental load reduction through research and recycling measures.

Work description

I was basically involved in few English lessons where students practiced writing and speaking. Main focus was devoted to some specific English terms in connection with the research topic. Furthermore, I conducted several experiments in labs, such as preparation of batch tests, and analyzing of water parameters, i.e. total organic carbon (TOC), total phosphorus (TP), total nitrogen (TN), and ammonia. Finally, I was searching for important scientific papers and learning its content, and then discussed new findings with my supervisor and some students during prearranged sections.

Salary (sufficient for local conditions?)

My payment was 80000 JPY/month, which is not too much in Japan, however, I did not have to pay for an accommodation as it was paid by the university. Thus, this payment sufficiently covered the cost for living, e.g. food, public transport in Osaka, and trips to nearby destinations. By the way the very cheapest way of transportation in Osaka is to buy an old bicycle, or even two of them if you are unlucky like I was, and the first one had been stolen to you.

Language requirements

Fair English or Japanese level. Everybody who wants to go to Japan should realise that this is not a good country for practicing your English. Anyway, I guess that for majority of students who are coming to Japan, English is not the main attraction point...On the other hand, if you are good in Japanese as well as in English, you can find your destiny there.

Accommodation (price, who provided it)

0 JPY/month, providet by university

I was accommodated in the International House, which is the accommodation facility of Josho Gakuen Education Foundation. My room was consisted from the main living room along with a small kitchen corner, balcony, and bathroom containing both shower and bath. Among room facilities were i.e. an air conditioner, dining table, desk, chairs, and, wardrobes. In the International House, there was a possibility to use a Lounge room with WiFi, however, there was no WiFi in my residence room. Furthermore, I could use a laundry room to wash my clothes, and even took some old equipment for cooking and cleaning, which was left in a special room by the previous students from abroad. Finally, janitor of this House was very friendly and helpful when it was needed. My overall conclusion is that I was very satisfied with this accommodation. Addendum, the best way to reach the Osaka Institute of Technology (OIT) is to use bicycle. It takes approximately 20 minutes from the International House to OIT so I dare to recommend to all future students to buy one. There are several shops full of old and cheap bicycles which cost between 4000 to 7500 JPY.

Social life

Meeting IAESTE members (pick-up at the airport, organized events...)

After a night at the airport in Tokyo, I went to the main train station where I met one IAESTE member, who helped me to buy a ticket on Shinkansen which took me to Osaka. Anyway, this help was not necessary, however, I felt much better that I could meet someone from IAESTE in Japan during my very first days. The rest of my journey from Osaka station to my hotel was up to me.

Trips and events were organized by IAESTE in Tokyo so it was quite hard to join anything, and I always made my own plan for weekends with some exceptions e.g. a meeting with IAESTE members in Kyoto and one trip with my colleagues from the OIT.

Meeting other foreign students

Some Japanese students from our department at Osaka Institute of Technology (OIT) took me to the place so called TOEI Kyoto Studio Park, where I could experience something from Japanese culture. We played different samurai games, visited the house of fear, theatre performance, and few live shows. Moreover, they organized for me a barbecue party with some fireworks. Another opportunity to meet students from abroad (not Japanese) was the common room in my hotel where people usually came to be on internet and talk with others.

Sport and culture

Bike riding, swimming, and hiking are fully recommended sport activities in Osaka and around. Swimming pool is nearby to the OIT, hiking can be enjoyable in Kyoto, Nara, and Koya-san, which are cultural hotspots so that everybody can enjoy sport activities and Japanese traditional culture in the same time. Running is also possible, for instance around the Osaka castle, but preferably in the evening or early in the morning when it is not that hot (summertime).

Food, local specialties

Best local restaurants can be found in Dotonbori district that is full of sushi restaurants, izakayas, ramen,and takoyaki shops that you do not want to miss out.

One of my favourite meals was chicken curry with rice and a few potatoes.

You can daily eat something special in Japan...there is no doubt about that. Moreover, it is not that expensive as you might think.

Other information

Possibilites to communicate with the Czech Republic

I could use my Czech mobile phone as well as internet for sending of emails or skyping. Anyway, due to the 7 hours time difference, it sometimes was uneasy to be in touch with my friends or parents.

Recommendations for students who will go to the same place

Generally, I do not recommend to anybody to go to Japan during summertime as it is extremely hot and humid. When I arrived, I found myself to be in Hell indeed!! October is much better choice with its acceptable weather, beautiful scenery (whole Japan is wrapped up in variety of colours as it is already autumn), and finally with less typhoons than in summertime.

When it comes to talk about Osaka itself, my recommendation is to by a bike as soon as possible. Then, I would like to recommend to anybody to go to Kyoto with trains of the company called Keihan because it is very cheap and comfortable way to see one of the most beautiful places in Japan. Learn more here:

What not to forget with you

Passport, camera, Japan Rail Pass, and good shoes if your size is over 42. Other things can be bought in Japan i.e. adapter, umbrella, sun cream and so on...

Benefits of the internship

This internship has encouraged my self-confidence, improved my knowledge about new methods of wastewater purification and given me some new friends and unforgettable memories.

Cooperation with IAESTE in the foreign country

I was totally overwhelmed by the fast acceptance for my internship; this was very unusual compare to other countries and their “lazy style” and I was also satisfied with the student’s guide produced by IAESTE in Japan. I have no complaints about IAESTE in Japan at all.

Overall experience with IAESTE

It was a great experience for my personal development and future professional career.

Student's website

Employer's webiste

Other useful links

Other comments

Japan is a country with several faces. I dare to divide Japan into three different faces. First of them, “Modernity”, there are modern big metropolitan cities, amazing Shinkansen bullet trains, delicious food and extremely polite people who are deeply interested in fashion. Second one, “Cultural and Historical face.” Japan is a place of many UNESCO heritage places, which are the most amazing places I have ever visited in my life. Combination of ancient temples, shrines, and traditional Japanese culture is like from fairytale. The last face, “The beauty of nature”, I love the fact that Japan is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean from its Eastern side and that there are many volcanoes, mountains, national parks with pure wildlife etc. This combination of three different faces makes from Japan an unique and romantic place. Unfortunately this can sometimes be very difficult for its citizens due to the harsh and hostile weather, and finally with a sad addendum, environmental disasters.

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