I just got internet working in my room at Kansai Gaidai so I will be updating everything in due time. I haven’t really been able to settle down yet, I just registered for classes today and should be getting a cell phone tomorrow (if everything goes well). So major updates planned, as soon as I get some time.

In any case, things are going really well so far. I’ve had a few incidents but that will be written about later, until then!!

So I get back to the Ryokan today and my charger decides that it doesn’t want to work… at all. Right now I’m writing with about 50% battery life on my laptop. I’ll have to go to Akihabara or the Apple store in Ginza and shell out $50 – $100 for a new one T_T I am not very happy about this. On the upside we had a good day today I’ll be writing about that after things start working my way. *sigh*

Somehow I fixed the above problem so I’m up and running, I’m uploading photos to flickr right now and as soon as I’m done with that I’ll get to uploading the videos to youtube. All videos and photos for the Tokyo and Tohoku trip are and will be taken by Ryan Iffert, after I get to Osaka that’s when the pictures will start being taken by me. I updated the previous posts so that they have photos in them so check that out. After I’m finished with photos and video then I’ll start on writing up the remainder of our activities. Worse comes to worse I’ll write while Ryan and I are riding the shinkansen to Sendai tomorrow.

So we’re at the third hotel in our escapades across tokyo and we get free wifi, it’s the first hotel that we’ve had any kind of internet at so I’m going to try to do as much with that as possible in as little time as possible because I’d rather be out and about in Tokyo than on a computer ^_^ I’m sure you understand.

We recorded the first podcast last night, it’s not exactly as I had planned it but it will work. I bought a microphone in Akihabara but it turns out that I packed the mixer AC adapter in one of the other bags as well (probably in the same zip-lock bag as the microphones >.< ) so we recorded from the internal mic in my laptop, which while high grade it picked up a lot of background noise. I’m not going to clean it up or edit it so much so please forgive me on that part. After I get settled in Japan I plan to release a podcast every monday and I promise to be punctual with that. Other than that Japan is great, we’re have a great time and just enjoying being tourists.

By the end of tonight (Monday) I plan to have our report of Day 2 and Day 3 up and the first podcast which will cover Day 4 up on the site, the flickr and youtube will be updated with all our photos and videos as well. So until then!

I’ve been thinking about this for a while now (since I started the blog), about setting up deadlines for myself for posting to this blog. It is a fine line to tread because for me, if I don’t set up deadlines I may start slipping and posting to the blog less and less, meaning that readership will go down because of unreliability and not knowing if the next time you visit there will be new content or not. On the other hand I don’t want to post so often that I don’t have anything meaningful to say, the last thing I want this blog to turn into is a stereotypical “I woke up, it’s raining, Japan is great, went to class, ate food, goodnight” kind of a blog. Personally I find those kind of blogs to be simply unenjoyable, and if I don’t want to read those types of things, I’m sure there are others who find that to be annoying as well.

I’ve been throwing around ideas in my head as to an ideal posting schedule, and I’ve come up with two viable options.

  • Monday, Wednesday, Friday
  • Monday, Friday

The benefit of both options is that I would have the weekend to do things, meaning that I can give advice and other tidbits of knowledge when I return to the computer. The reason I haven’t decided between the two is because of that gap in the middle of the week, I haven’t really decided on whether it would be a good thing to have it or not. I’m leaning more towards the MWF model of doing things because of that balance between frequency and free time.

At the moment it isn’t a big issue for me because I am not in Japan yet, so the information that I can provide about Japan and the area where I will be living is extremely limited as I don’t have any first hand experience. When I go across the Pacific, this will be a little more important. It’s just a decision I would like to get out of the way so I don’t have to worry about it later kind of thing. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated, you can leave a comment or click on the “Contact Corbin” button on the right side of the block (near the bottom). Just letting you see a little into the backround happenings of Corbin in Japan… before I’m in Japan.

I am extremely happy at the moment, I just received the second acceptance email, acknowledging my acceptance to Kansai Gaidai from the university itself. For the benefit of the reader I will post the full email so you will know what to expect when you receive your acceptance to study abroad. I will be asterisking ( **** ) parts of the email that are specific to myself or are not publically on Kansai Gaidai’s website. So without further ado here it is:

CORBIN, Andrew M
Admission Number: *****
State University of New York at Albany

Dear Andrew:

We are happy to inform you that you have been admitted to the Asian Studies Program at Kansai Gaidai for the fall semester of 2007. All the faculty and staff members of the Asian Studies Program join me in extending a warm welcome to you.

The following information outlines the procedures you must follow in order to complete your admission and entry arrangements. Please read carefully all the information provided in this e-mail.

Admission and Visa Procedures:

As soon as you receive this acceptance notification, please send us a short e-mail confirming your receipt of this message to the following account, so that we can create a listserv for students who will participate in our program for the fall semester of 2007: ******@kansaigaidai.ac.jp. Since we will use this listserv for our future communications, it is imperative that you send us this message. When you send us the e-mail, be sure to write “Admission Acknowledgement” and your Admission Number in the subject section of your e-mail.

This e-mail acceptance notification is being sent to the e-mail address that was written on your application document. When you confirm receipt of this e-mail to us, please send the message from the e-mail account that you would like to receive our future communications at, if different. We will send all the future correspondence to that e-mail account unless otherwise requested.

The procedures to be completed are as follows:

1. If you have not sent us a copy of your passport, please send us the following information via fax or e-mail attachment to ******@kansaigaidai.ac.jp:

Copies of the pages for your name, photo, passport number, date of issue, visa(s) granted for any previous trips to Japan.

2. You are exempted from the payment of the $50 Admission Fee and the $200 Enrollment Confirmation Deposit as per the agreement between our two institutions.

3. Since your participation is arranged under our official affiliation program between Kansai Gaidai and your institution, we will shortly apply to the Ministry of Justice for your Certificate of Eligibility (a visa-supporting document). If, for any reason, you must withdraw from our program, please let us know as soon as possible since we are
required to immediately inform the Ministry of any cancellation.

4. As soon as your Certificate of Eligibility is issued, we will forward it to the address indicated on the Address Form via DHL. Be sure to return the completed Address Form (form is attached) indicating the most reliable address to receive the certificate. If you want to have your certificate sent to the program coordinator at your institution, please
indicate so on your Address Form.

5. When you receive your Certificate of Eligibility from us, please take it and your passport to your local Japanese Consulate/Embassy and obtain a student visa. With the Certificate of Eligibility and your passport, you should encounter no difficulty in obtaining a student visa.

As for the academic calendar and the course offering for the 2007 fall semester, please refer to:

http://www.kansaigaidai.ac.jp/asp/03_academics/01.html
http://www.kansaigaidai.ac.jp/asp/03_academics/06.html

Please be advised that the course offering for the coming fall semester is subject to change without prior notice.

For further information regarding arrival, immigration and our orientation program, please refer to:

http://www.kansaigaidai.ac.jp/bekka/admissions/adm_index.htm

We look forward to welcoming you to our campus in August!

Hajime Yamamoto, Dean
Center for International Education
Kansai Gaidai University
16-1 Nakamiyahigashinocho
Hirakata City, Osaka 573-1001
Japan

So there it is, I’m sure that the email provided you with a lot of answers to your questions as far as procedure after your acceptance. I will still go over alot of the information topic by topic in the coming months before my departure for Osaka, Japan. Here are a couple of topics that I will cover to wet your palate:

  • Organizing your study abroad with your home campus
  • Doing some preliminary research on the city you are travelling to
  • Getting your Visa
  • Obtaining your flight

So I hope you look forward to reading what I have to write as much as I will enjoy writing it, until then!

The purpose of this blog is to detail the expiriences of me (Corbin) throughout the processes of applying for study abroad, learning about study abroad, getting a flight, flying over, studying and living in Osaka, Japan, flying back, and anything else I see fit to input into this blog.

I hope this will be entertaining and informative at the same time, I love to get feedback so you are more than welcome to contact me. I plan on using a selection of different mediums in my blog including: pictures, videos, links, possibly a podcast but definitely sounds, and any other cool technological bits that I think might add to the effectiveness of my presentation of the facts. So without further ado here we go ^_^.

Okay so this is my first post in my blog so I should probably start with an introduction.

My name is Andrew M. Corbin, most people call me just Corbin and I’m fine with that, in fact more often than not I prefer it. Long story short no matter what form of school I have gone to there have been alot of Andrews so we had to differentiate, since I hate being called Andy, Drew, or some other type of nickname I was assigned as Corbin among my peers, and it stuck.

I’m a current student at the State University of New York Institute of Technology at Utica/Rome, or SUNYIT for short, at which I started attending Fall of 2004 after graduation from Morrisville/Eaton High School. I applied to both RIT and SUNYIT but chose the latter because of dorms and money ($20,000 cheaper >.<). Immediately after arriving on campus I inquired as to the existence of an Anime Club (because I am a big fan of anime and japanese culture), to which I found out there was none. I then decided to start one, which I did. The first meeting I got an overwhelming response and SITAC ( SUNY I T Anime Club) was born. It has since grown to be the second largest student club on campus and we held our first Anime Convention called SITACon in the fall of 2006. SITACon was the first Anime Convention of Central New York, we were also the largest student run event of campus ever.

Initially I started at SUNYIT as a Computer Science major, until I found out that I hated programming… I am now a Business and Public Management major with a minor in Comp Sci, since I saw no reason to throw away the credits for the previous courses. My focus is on International Business and eventually I want to work in a company that is either based in the US or Japan and has strong ties to the other country. So things that I have done have been to work towards that goal.

In the Spring of 2005, during spring break, I travelled to Tokyo, Japan for 8 days. I took tons of pictures, as you can see on the link to the right, and it was such a great experience, I knew I had to go back to Japan. I stayed in ryokans in Asakusa, and Bunkyo-ku. Full details of my trip will be posted to my VirtualTourist Page.

I should probably get to why I created this blog. I didn’t just make this for no reason or to just write about little nothings, I actually created this blog with a purpose: to detail my experiences in Japan, as well as give information and advice to those wanting to know about study abroad, what to do in Osaka, Japan and surrounding areas. I will post pictures as well as have links, and hopefully it will entertain as well as inform. So with that I welcome you the reader to Corbin In Japan.