Home > Uncategorized > Life in the Intenational House

Life in the Intenational House

Foreign students entering NUFS have two official choices of where to live. The first is a set of apartments called Proxy Friends Nissin. They are about five minute by foot from the university campus, and cost ¥30000 rent per month, not including utilities and internet. They have few rules and regulations, about the same as any normal apartment complex. The other choice, the one I chose, is the International House, otherwise known as I-House.

I-House is a set of dorms adjacent to the campus. It has a square layout, with a nakaniwa (central open garden) in the middle. It has two stories (boys on bottom, girls on top, generally speaking). There are 3 or 4 kitchens and two common rooms for each floor, as well as a game room, computer room, laundry room, and small library on the first floor and a tatami room on the second floor.

The rooms are fairly spacious, all things considered. The come with a bed (with bedding supplies, including a futon, which can be rented), a desk with a light, a set of shelves, a fridge, a closet, and a bathroom with a bath/shower and toilet.

The building is maintained by our kanrinin (landlady), Yuuko, although we like to call her Okaasan (literally, “mom” in Japanese), since she takes care of us so well. We also have three RAs: Koko, Yayoi, and Jun. Jun is the only guy RA, and he’s quite fun to talk to. Especially stories of his part-time job at 7-11!

There are many advantages to living at I-House. The utilities are all taken care of, as well as internet (which is slow, but doable), and the rent is ¥24000. If you have a problem, Okaasan will be able to help you out. There is never a shortage of people to talk to, as many of them hang out in the common rooms almost perpetually. It’s close to the campus, as well as the main grocery store (Aoki Super), video rental store (Geo), bus to the subway (Itaka Ryoukuchi), and  many restaurants (including the Italian restaurant Sizeria and many sushi places).

There are some costs to living here, though. Everyone takes turns cleaning the kitchens and taking out the trash (known as gomi-touban, or “cleaning duties”), which I personally don’t mind, but it tends to make other people lazy and they won’t clean their dishes and expect you to. There is a “curfew,” although it’s not as strict as it sounds—the door is simply locked at 11 PM; if you want to come back afterwards, you can call someone to let you in. There are also quiet hours after 11, but that’s just common sense.

Overall, I think I made a good choice in coming to I-House. I might have preferred a homestay, but given my options, I’m happy with what I’ve got.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. chris
    February 22, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    hey ya!
    im goin to nufs in 2 weeks and im in the i house as wel!
    thanks for all the info here, its really helpful.
    was just wondering, does the curfew count on weekends and holz as well?

    • March 3, 2011 at 10:37 am

      Hiya! Sorry for the late reply! ^^”

      I’m glad you found this all helpful! 😀 I was hoping this blog would be good for something XD Are you doing the single-semester deal? That’s the one I did.

      Yes, the curfew still applies, but I think that on weekends the curfew is more like 1:00 AM. It still counts on holidays too. When me and my friends went to Kyoto during Golden Week, we got back so late (about 3 AM) that we had to call up a friend to open the door for us XP And that is why even if you’re staying for only one semester you should get a cell-phone while you’re there.

      If you have any more questions, let me know! You’re going to have lots of fun!

      • chris
        March 5, 2011 at 10:17 pm

        ah cheers for the reply man!
        currently im down for one sem, bt i wana try extend for 2.
        fingers crossed they let me! haha
        thats good to know you can get back in, cause i think i house looks heaps better for meeting ppl. wer as proxy looks like alota hassle

  2. rebeccabourke
    November 3, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    Hello! I am currently thinking about applying to study in NUFS for one year as of next September and have found your blog really informative and helpful. Would you mind if I ask you some questions about your experience?

    • November 9, 2012 at 6:47 pm

      Of course! Anything in particular you had in mind?

      • rebeccabourke
        November 11, 2012 at 3:59 pm

        Thanks a million.
        First of all, I was wondering if you are getting opportunities to use your Japanese outside of class, or if the foreign students are very separated from the Japanese students at NUFS? How do you find the level of the classes? Have you taken any JLPT exams?

      • November 13, 2012 at 10:44 pm

        No problem.

        1) At NUFS, regardless of where you live (whether I-House or Proxy), you will generally not live with other Japanese students. Likewise, when you take your Japanese language courses, you will be with only foreign students. That being said, in addition to the Japanese courses, you will also have the ability to take English-language classes, which many Japanese students also take. For example, I was only one of two non-Japanese students in our “Business Practices in Japan” class. It was in English, but it was a good way to meet people.

        On that note, in terms of opportunities to use Japanese outside of class, you get a much better opportunity than, say, Tokyo, because in Nagoya less people speak English (or at least well enough to try). This is especially true at the local restaurants and stores. Plus, you get a taste of Nagoya-ben, which in my opinion is way more fun than standard Japanese.There is also a standing policy in I-House whereby the RAs will not speak in any language other than Japanese, so you’ll get it a lot in the dorm. In addition, if you participate in the Language Lounge (which I would highly recommend), you will not only get paid, but it’s a great way to make friends with the Japanese students. That’s how I met my best Japanese friend, Takayuki.

        2) I was definitely challenged by the level of the language courses. As I mentioned in a previous blog post, they test you multiple times to determine what level is best for you. It also depends on the professor. Some are really nice and patient–and sometimes conversant in English enough to explain the really difficult concepts. Some, on the other hand, are curt or mean, or speak little to no English.

        The English language courses, on the other hand, were a breeze. If you have a more artsy disposition, you may be bored (this is what I heard from my fiancee and other friends taking these classes). I took a political diplomacy class and a business class, so it was a lot less boring and more interesting, but it was still REALLY easy. But with the language classes being so challenging, it’s nice having those occasional breaks.

        3) I have never taken the JLPT.

        Let me know if you have any more questions.

  3. November 20, 2012 at 2:39 am

    I’m going to NUFS next year and staying in I-House, so this post has been very helpful thank you! I just have one question though – with internet, is there wifi in the individual dorm rooms? (if we’re bringing our own computer of course)
    Or do we have to use the common computer areas for wifi?
    And you said the internet is pretty slow, do you think it would be good enough to skype family/friends or can it really only be used for web browsing?
    thank you!!

    • November 23, 2012 at 10:06 am

      There is wifi for I-House. The reason it can be slow is occasionally EVERYONE is on the network at the same time, since we all had laptops. It’s really nice, though, if you are on and everyone else is out of the building. And I skyped my family quite frequently, so it will definitely work for that.

      Let me know if you have any more questions! Hope you enjoy your stay!

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