After looking at various universities that offered my desired subject, Japanese, I decided that SOAS was the only place for me. Not only does SOAS have a great reputation for its Japanese department and Japanese library collection, but I also believe that for language students, there’s no better city to live and study in than London.
I cannot stress enough just how well-run the Japanese department at SOAS is. Courses are well structured across the board and support is always available from teaching staff, be it through the language clinics, or a even a friendly email. I also love that many courses available within the department have overlapping content, providing students the opportunity to connect the pieces of the puzzle of Japan’s past and gain a rich knowledge of Japan’s present. I feel that the department has hugely deepened my interest in Japanese history and culture, and equipped me with a great springboard of knowledge from which to do my own research.
Of course, the Japanese language classes at SOAS are fantastic. With a focus on not only grammar, but writing, reading and practical skills too, classes really provide you with sturdy foundations that can be built up to fluency by the time you graduate. My degree has by no means been an easy ride, but it’s been a hugely fulfilling experience and I’m very grateful I was given the chance to study at SOAS.
With the student societies and community spirit, and the insightful, thought-provoking conversations in the JCR and bar, I have always felt at home at SOAS. SOAS provides a completely different university experience to anywhere else in the UK.