I moved into Hitotsubashi`s International House on the 29th. It was really sad leaving Junko, but I`m probably going to visit her from time to time. She helped call up a moving company to help me take my things from Mitaka to Kunitachi, and the `company` turned out to be an seventy year old man with a pick-up truck *sigh*. Not suprisingly, he was pretty strong and helped me carry my things up to the fourth floor of the dorm.
Despite not liking it at first, i-house is actually great compared to your average dorm at Penn. Sure the rooms are pretty small (this is Japan after all) but there are all sort of shelves and storage spaces to put your stuff, not to mention the fact that you have your own toilet and sink. One thing that really stood out was how clean the place was – just thinking of the grimy halls of the Quad…bleh. All this and the rent is about a quarter of what it is in Penn. Its too good to be true. I can`t help but feel that that the Hitotsubashi exchange students studying at Penn right now are getting the shorter end of the stick on this one.
I-house is a four storey building with the office and general common room on the ground floor, and a kitchen and tv room on each of the other floors. All in all there are about 60 residents in i-house, so everyone knows everyone. They come from all over the place; some are just exchange students like me, some are taking a six month intensive japanese course and some are research students, and thats what makes i-house such an interesting place to live. For example, the main language used in i-house is Japanese because not everyone comes from English speaking countries/backgrounds, so you are forced to use nihongo and it makes the experience more valuable of course.