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Student Life in Kyoto

No city showcases Japan better

Open any travel guide about Japan and you are certain to encounter a description of the dichotomy of modern Japan—a country of paradox where cultural traditions are entrenched, but advanced technology is embraced. No city encapsulates this dichotomy better than Kyoto. Neither the neo-metropolis of Tokyo nor the colorful mercantilism of Osaka come close. Kyoto is a unique balance of modernity and tradition, and accolades like “Best City in the World” by US Magazine Travel & Leisure demonstrate its appeal.

Here are some facts you might not have known about Japan’s ancient capital:

A city of history

Kyoto’s history as the capital of Japan spans more than 1,000 years. This history of being at the center of Japan has influenced Kyoto’s culture tremendously, and Kyoto remains a Japanese cultural capital to this day. Kyoto City’s 1,600 Buddhist temples and 400 Shinto shrines, the most famous of which include UNESCO World Heritage sites, are just one example of Kyoto’s cultural legacy.

A city of innovation

Kyoto is a city of innovation, and hosts the headquarters of some of the most well-known electronics manufacturers in the world. These include one of the world’s largest videogame manufacturers, a globally renowned electronics and ceramics manufacturer, the world’s largest electric motor manufacturer, a famous automotive manufacturer, and many other electronics and precision instrument companies. Many of Kyoto’s companies are frequently featured in Forbes’ Top Companies rankings.

A city of knowledge

There are approximately 50 universities and over 200,000 students in Kyoto. Additionally, the city has produced 11 of Japan’s 24 Nobel laureates.

A next-level university town

Kyoto is a place where you can enjoy both the tranquility of nature and the hustle and bustle of a major urban center. The entire city is accessible by bicycle, and prices are student-friendly as well. Tuition fees are about 30% of those found in the US, Australia or Europe, while the cost of living is also about 15-30% lower than similar cities in North America, Europe and Asia. Furthermore, Kyoto is significantly more affordable than Tokyo and its surrounding areas.

A city of diversity

Japan is known for being a homogenous country, but you would not know it when living in Kyoto. The city welcomes more than 10 million visitors from abroad every year, and over 10,000 international students call Kyoto home.

Kyoto - a perfect home for KUAS

Kyoto provides the perfect environment for KUAS’ vision of outside-in learning. Being situated in a heartland of Japanese technological advancement transforms the traditional learning paradigm into a fluid experience that will allow students to directly shape future innovation.

A day in the life…

It’s not easy to imagine what life would be like overseas! The following passages are meant to give you an idea of what you could expect when living in Kyoto. As mentioned above, you may find that life in Kyoto is surprisingly affordable, and the average monthly expenses for an international student in Kyoto is approximately 40,000-50,000 JPY.

Getting to and from campus:

First things first, you will need to get to class. If you decide to live in our international dormitory, then you will already be on campus! If you decide to live off-campus, you may use one of the following means to commute to school.

· Bicycle: undoubtedly one of the most common forms of transportation in the city, bicycles can be purchased for about 8,000 JPY from a local bicycle shop.

· Subway: Uzumasa Campus is conveniently located on the Tozai Subway Line via Uzumasa-Tenjingawa Station. A one-way ride to the city-center costs 260 JPY.

· Bus: several bus lines connect Uzumasa Campus to various parts of the city. All of Kyoto City’s buses charge a flat fare of 230 JPY.

Eat well:

Nutrition is important to keep yourself energized and healthy. According to the Japan Student Services Organization, international students spend an average of ¥27,000 on food every month. At KUAS, our on-campus cafeteria offers cheap meals every day, including a large lunch with several side dishes (480 JPY), a plate of Japanese-style curry (380 JPY) and many other choices. The menu changes every day, so you are sure to always find something that you enjoy.

Rent & Utilities:

Rent, gas, electricity, internet and a mobile phone plan are all essential living expenses. The average rent for a basic 1-bedroom apartment is about 30,000-50,000 JPY/month. Utilities cost an additional 6,000-8,000 JPY every month. Furthermore, a mobile phone plan is typically 5,000 JPY/month and a portable Wi-Fi router is about 2,500 JPY/month.

Part-time jobs:

As an international student in Japan, you are allowed to have a part-time job once you have obtained permission. If you feel that working a part-time job a few times every week will not impact your studies, feel free to look around Kyoto City for job opportunities.