Japanese English Majors’ Experiences and Attitudes to Study Abroad: A Case Study of Students at a Private University in Tokyo
This study investigates both the benefits of and recent trends in studying abroad for Japanese students and examines the results of a survey on study abroad taken by students majoring in English at a private university in Tokyo. Statistics from JASSO showed that the trend in study abroad before 2020 was for an increasing number of Japanese university students to spend a period of time studying abroad, though most of the increase was in short-term study. The English language questionnaire sought to discover what proportion of a group of seventy-two students had already studied abroad, or planned to do so, and to establish whether those who had gained experience had benefitted from it, as well as detailing student anxieties which may have deterred students from studying abroad. The survey on study abroad, taken in January 2018, had a 100% response rate. Twenty-three (32%) of the students answered that they had already studied abroad, mostly for short durations in English-speaking countries. Most of the students who studied abroad had a positive experience, reputedly improved their English skills and recommended that other students study abroad. Twenty-six (53%) of the students without study abroad experience were planning to study abroad, even though they had some issues which concerned them, such as their ability to communicate in English, personal safety, and financial matters. The main reason for not electing to study abroad for this particular sample was found to be related to the overall costs of overseas travel, accommodation, and tuition.
Keywords: Japanese study abroad, overseas study motivations, university-level study abroad trends in Japan