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Ing. Ivana Maslonková, Brno University of Technology,ročník 5
About the country
Location of the place
Campus of Tokyo Metropolitan University in Hachioji. The nearest station was Minami-Osawa. It is located about 40 minutes by train to Shinjuku station that is the part of the Tokyo centre.
Tokyo Metropolis is a metropolitan prefecture comprising of 23 wards and 26 cities. These 23 wards are the core of Tokyo. The most famous areas for tourist are: Shibuya, Shinjuku, Asakusa, Odaiba, Marunouchi, Roppongi...It is dynamic city with a lot, lot of people everywhere :) There is a so many nice shrines, temples, parks, gardens and many hidden spots to explore and beautiful rooftop views on the city.
Surroundings (possible trips, ...)
Coverage of public transportation network is on a high level in Tokyo so within an one hour you can be out of the city. I recommend to visit these places: Mt. Takao + japanese onsen next to the station, Enoshima, Kamakura, Nikko and Yokohama...
Tokyo Metropolitan University
My coworker was PhD student so mostly I was working with him. I was a member of department of genetics that focus on gene manipulation and molecular biology by using Drosophilas for experiments. We have been trying to make new transgenic flies with knock-out of particular genes.
Salary (sufficient for local conditions?)
The salary was 60 000 yens/monts. It was sufficient for living and couples trips to the center of Tokyo. For trips that was longer than one day I spent my saved money from home. For transportation you can purchase a Willer bus pass for 15000 yens included 5 days of traveling, it is really good deal or purchase JR rail pass for 200 euros included 7 days of travelling, although it is more expensive but faster. It depends on your budget, but any of this option is good for exploring Japan.
My PhD co-worker was fluent in English and my supervisor as well so most of my time I commmunicated with them. Other students in the department they could speak English but it wasn't that perfect I would expected but I could communicate with them.
Accommodation (price, who provided it)
Accomodation was provided and paid by the university. I was living in the campus (International house) and had my own room with bathroom and kitchen. It overcame my expectations because I expected japanese-style small room. It was super comfortable, only cicadas outside were so annoying you will see if you will live next to a park :D
Meeting IAESTE members (pick-up at the airport, organized events...)
IAESTE members were kind and nice, always helpful. My contact person had some health issues during my arrival so other iaeste member was waiting for me on the station. IAESTE Japan organized some interesting events during summer.
Meeting other foreign students
From August to the end of September was holiday at university so I didn't meet any foreign students there during that time but some of them were living in International house however I barely met one person per day. And as I mentioned I was living quite far from the center of the city so I couldn't hang out with other trainees more often as I would like to but mostly I was with them during weekend.
Sport and culture
You can check any event in Japan on tokyocheapo.com website. The most famous event during summer is Bon Odori festival- it's a traditional japanese dance. It's a nice experience to dance it with locals.
Food, local specialties
Japanese cuisine is so diverse, there is a many options to eat such as ramen, okonomiyaki, gyoza, miso soup, sushi, yakisoba,... Don't forget to visit Tokyo's Korean town in Shin-Okubo and Tsukiji fish market. You can get a lunch starting from 5 € to 15 €, some of the cheapest restaurants are Sukiya, Saizeriya.
Possibilites to communicate with the Czech Republic
Recommendations for students who will go to the same place
Be prepared for the high humidity and temperature during summer and couple typhoons from time to time. So bring a lot of T-shirts.
What not to forget with you
Waterproof boots :D
Benefits of the internship
I made a new friendships, got know Japanese culture which is unique on itself and could visit different cities.
Cooperation with IAESTE in the foreign country
Japanese people are the nicest people in the world I think so if I had any problem my contact person help me a lot and even always write me where typhoons were approaching to the city. They organized almost every week one event during summer so it was nice to meet Japanese
Overall experience with IAESTE
I really appreciate this cool experience and I would recomend it to everybody.
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