Interview with Friðrik

Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 18.48.09Name Friðrik Árni Tryggvason
School Seinan Gakuin University
Favourite place at school Cafeteria
Would you rather be able to fly or read minds? To read minds and I would fart as much as I can to see if people are thinking who farted.

1. Upon arrival, did you have to change any classes you chose? How did that go? 
Yes, I changed a few classes that the school offered. It was very easy and the school helps you with it. They give you two weeks to test out all the courses you might want to take and within those two weeks, you can change everything about your classes.

2. Did someone pick you up from the airport?
Yes, the school is so nice that they asked me if I wanted a pick-up service from the school. A lovely Seinan  Gakuin student picked me up and helped me get home.

3.How was your first week adapting?
It was very easy. We have a lot of super fun and great students. The international office is also ready to help you with anything if you have any problems. It was a little hard getting used to the heat in the beginning though.

4. How much are you paying a month for rent, food, transport and other necessities?31.000 Yen for rent that includes. Electricity, internet, water and heating. monthly I spend around 30-40.000 Yen on food. Transportation, I don’t really need since I have a bycicle, but I spend about 1.560 Yen on the subway. Other necessities such as laundry detergent, cleaning supplies, toothpaste and more is about 500 yen per month. Social events can go from 2.000 – 5.000 Yen per week or every other week.

5. Did you get into student dorms? If no, where are you staying and how has it worked for you?
Yes, I am in the International dorm that the school offers.

6. Did you apply for any scholarships? If yes, which ones did you receive?
No, I didn’t apply for any.

7. Did you create a bank account or do you withdraw from ATMs?  If you withdraw from ATMs,  what would be your recommendation in terms of timing and amount? If you created a bank account, which bank did you go to?
I usually just spend it on food. From time to time, I will buy a cheap manga or an anime figure. I have not created a bank account, so I always use the Seven eleven ATM. I usually withdraw somewhere between 20 to 50.000 Yen. The seven elevens here are almost always open no matter what time of the day so its easily accessible.

8. Does your phone work in Japan or did you have to get a new one?
My phone works in Japan and I often use it to connect to Wi-fi. I have not done it, but I should be able to buy a Japanese sim card and have 5 gigabytes monthly on internet where ever I am in Japan.

9. Have you had any funny/embarrassing language miscommunication?
Once, a friend who lived with me in the dorm and wanted to ask me if he could say 頭がいい (Atama Ga II) but he said おたまがいい(otama ga ii) which means my testicles are good.

10. Did you apply for LÍN and advance payment from your bank? If yes, did you encounter any problems/do you have any tips?
I applied for LÍN but I did not ask for advance payment. Once all my grades were in, I easily got the loan.

11. Do you miss anything about Iceland?
The food and friends. You might not think you need it, but I recommend taking seasoning or something that might remind you of home and tastes familiar to you.

12. What’s your most interesting/funny experience in Japan?
There are so many that it’s hard to count, like one time I was walking in the rain without an umbrella and this old 70 year old lady stands behind me and puts her umbrella over my head. But the funniest experience would have to be the doctors visit. At first it looks like your walking into a set for a 1980’s horror movie and you kind of have no idea what’s going on but a lot is happening at the same time. I told the doctor I had a problem with my ear because I couldn’t hear properly so he stuck a rod up my nose and out my ear. I will never forget the look on the nurse’s face when she saw the look on my face once I realized what the doctor had done.

13. Did you buy a travel insurance before you left for Japan? If yes, where from?
I bought tickets from Wow Air. I did not get travel insurance from them but then I also bought tickets from student air. Since I had to take 3 different airplanes with them, I thought it would be best to get insurance from them.

14. Did you bring medicine with you to Japan?
I brought my nasal spray if my nose gets stuffy and some tums in case I get heartburn.

15. Is there anything you regret bringing with you?
No, I brought everything I needed and I have put everything to use that I brought.

16. Is there anything you wish you would have brought with you?
Warmer jacket and more food seasoning. Most people in the dorm complain about not having brought more deodorant, tampons, scented shampoo and underwear.

17. What’s the weather like? Do you have any tips for keeping cool/warm?
When I first came, the weather was way too warm it was about 28°C in the pharmacies they sell wet towels that cool you down. Right now its a little bit cold its about 5°C and at one point it got below -5°C. I recommend bringing one nice warm jacket just in case and a nice warm sweater.

18. How are classes compared to those you took in Iceland, and is it heavier/easier?
Most common classes are easier here than they are at home, but Japanese classes and kanji are on a very similar level.

19. What’s your favourite Japanese food so far?
Tonkotsu Ramen  豚骨 ラ-メん

20. What’s your most disliked Japanese food so far?
I don’t dislike a lot of the food, but there are other foods that I just don’t care for so much such as natto, tofu and miso soup.

21. Are there any specific shops that you recommend?
Book off, Hard off and mandarake.

22. Do you have any tattoos? If yes, did you encounter any problems?
No I don’t.

23. Is there anything one must see or do in your location?
My location is close to a lot of great places like the Fukuoka tower. It’s a 10 minute walk from my dorm. I recommend checking out other places such as Kumamoto, Beppu (Go to an onsen there) and nagasaki. We have one of the biggest or biggest buddha statues (Not sure if it is the biggest) close to us, and it’s very easy for me to meet up with other people such as the ones from Kyudai and Fukuoka Womens University. We have a lot of great restaurants and my area is known for their Tonkotsu ramen, so if you ever go to our area, you have to try the ramen it’s delicious. We also have themed restaurants such as locked up close to us and owl/cat cafe.

24. Did you travel within Japan? Where did you go and how was your experience?
Yes, our school offered us a trip to Kyoto and they paid a lot of the expenses and we got to stay at a 4 star hotel and we had the time of our lives. From Kyoto, me and a small group of people went over to Nara and saw the Deer there. My friends in the school are also great at planning trips and we have gone to places such as Beppu, Yanagawa, Saga, Kumamoto, Nagasaki, Tokyo, Sapporo(Hokkaido) and we are now planning a trip to Osaka and Okinawa. We also checked alot of festivals close to us and have gone to places such as Daizaifu.

25. Do you have anything to add? なんでもいいです
When you start your school year abroad, don’t be afraid to meet new people and talk to them. The people I have met here on my journey and the places I have been will forever be in my memory, and tha’ts irreplacable. I have had so much fun since I came here. So just remember advice that I got from my aunt Ingileif “There may always be arguments, but don’t let that get in the way of both of you having a fun time”. So go out, meet people, and enjoy every moment. Try and go for a walk and see new things, don’t take naps and improve your Japanese a lot.

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