Who cares about your age if you have a dream?

Today, I gave an interview to Sophia who came from Sweden. She is studying abroad in Japan and making a living by a part time job and scholarship even though she is only 19 years old. I asked her about her life in Japan.

Found Japanese interesting when she was a high school student

Sari “Hello, nice to see you, I’m Sari.”
Sophia “It is nice to see you, too. I’m Sophia.”
Sari “Could you introduce yourself little bit please?”
Sophia “OK, I’m from Sweden. I’m 19 years old. I’ m studying Japanese in a language school at Shinokubo. Besides it, I usually work for a restaurant at Omotesando as a part time worker. “
Sari “19? You look mature for your age! What is your purpose to come to Japan?”
Sophia “To improve Japanese. I started studying when I was a high school student because it looked more interesting than Western languages that I’ve studied. A scholarship from home university in Sweden made this study-abroad possible.“

Life in a shared house in Japan

Sari “Why did you decide to live in a shared house?”
Sophia “I realized I need much money if I would live in a apartment or something alone because I need to pay the guarantee fee or gratuity fee. Besides these fees, I needed to buy all furniture and appliance as well. It costs a lot, right?”
Sari “Absolutely. But didn’t you have any concerns about living together with foreigners?”
Sophia “Actually I had. Sweden doesn’t have shared houses because population is not as large as Japan. However I realized there are benefits as well. Living with others makes my parents feel relieved because share mates will help me if something happens.”
Sari “I see. Do you get along with share mates?”
Sophia “Yes! We ‘re always chilling at this dining room. I’m very lucky to have wonderful mates.”
Sari “Do you have some memorable events with share mates?”
Sophia “Well, one was the homemade “Takoyaki” party held at just after I moved in. One of the mates made homemade Takoyaki for us. Before this party I felt nervous because I didn’t know I could get along with them. However that party made chances to know everyone’s name and face.”
Sari “Sounds nice! It must be fun.”
Sophia “And the other was that one of the share mates helped me when I got a letter from a public office about some paper. It had some difficult words that I couldn’t understand and she kindly translate and explain it. I really appreciated.”

Key points when choosing the livable house

Sari “What were the points when you choose this house?”
Sophia “I was so picky and cared about price, place, design, cleanness and so on. I like the interior of this house and facilities are perfect.”
Sari “Yeah, I like it, too.”
Sophia “As expected, I’m satisfied with this house. And I preferred as many as share mates are Japanese to practice Japanese in daily life. Shared houses are now popular for foreign students because its ease, and some houses have half number of foreigners. I think it’s not good for me to speak English in house.”
Sari “You covered all the bases!”
Sophia “Because it won’t be long to study here. I wanted to do everything that I can. I asked the management company about the ratio of Japanese and foreigners, and they said there is no foreigner. Then I decide this house.”

loving the climate in Japan especially the humid?

Sari “Did you found any differences from your images before you actually live here?”
Sophia “Well, I had a image that Japan is a very strict country about manner and politeness, and I was scary. I realized it is not true though. All Japanese I’ve ever met were nice and not scary. Haha
Sari “I’m happy to hear that. Then, what do you like about Japan?”
Sophia “I have lot of things that I should mention though, one is the climate. I love the humid!”
Sari “What!?”
Sophia “I know it’s weird. Haha You know, Sweden is so dry and I prefer the humid.”
Sari “It’s first time to see the one who says like that. haha”
Sophia “And of course, foods. I love Japanese noodles. Also I’m impressed by milk products in Japan even though I usually don’t like them in abroad.”

Future plans

Sari “What are your future plans?”
Sophia “I will graduate from the language school. I will go back to Sweden but I’m planning to come back to Japan. Tokyo has a lot of things to go and I don’t have enough time!”
Sari “I see. What do you want to be in the future?”
Sophia “I want to be a graphic designer. I’ve already been getting some requests as a freelance and I would like to start seriously.”
Sari “Sounds cool. Look forward to seeing your work.”

Check the information out below.

・Belle Philia Shimokitazawa

5 minutes walk from Shimokitazawa station, a popular area by fashionable young people. This house was designed by “Misawa home”, a famous construction company in Japan. One of the characteristic points of this house is every private rooms have own washbasin. You don’t need to care about when you use it at even rush time.

Share House DATA

HouseBelle Philia Shimokitazawa
Rent69,000~80,000 yen
Utility cost15,000 yen
Number of rooms12 rooms
AccessInogashira Line "Shimokitazawa"station 5 minutes walk