Living in a Japanese Dorm

私の留学プログラムには寮かそれともホストファミリーにどちらでも住めますが、プログラムが始まった頃は東京でインターンシップをしている間に2ヶ月でアパートに一人暮らしていたばかりなので、もう東京の生活に慣れてたと思って、寮に住んだほうがいいと決めました。その上に、高校生として日本に留学した時にもうホストファミリーと一緒に住んでおり、問題が全然なかったし、一人暮らしよりもホームステイが特典もあっても、東京にいるうちに自由を持ち続けたくて、寮を選んだのです。In my study abroad program, you can either live in a dorm or with a host family. Since I would have just been getting done with my summer internship in Tokyo where I was living alone in an apartment for two months, I figured that it would be better to just live in a dorm as I would have already been used to the single life in Tokyo. Additionally, I have already lived with a host family before when I studied abroad in high school. I didn’t have any problems with my host family and there are definitely perks of living with one rather than being alone, but I wanted to continue to have my own freedom while being in Tokyo.

一般的なアメリカと日本の寮の違いが多くありますので、このブログ投稿に説明したいと思っています。最初に、千葉県の市川市に位置するドーミー原木中山という寮に住んでいました。東京と留学センターから30分かかる静かで安全な住宅地にある女子寮です。There are major differences between a typical American dorm and a Japanese one, so I will discuss them below. To start with, I lived in Dormy Baraki-Nakayama in Ichikawa City in Chiba Prefecture. It is an all girl’s dorm in a very quiet and safe residential neighborhood, about thirty minutes from Tokyo and my study abroad center/campus.

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寮に入ったり出たりした時に、いつ出かけたか記録する特別なカギを使います。寮以外で宿泊したら、外出届を記入して寮長に提出するのが必要となり、それはアメリカと一番大きい違いです。アメリカの寮に自由には行ったり来たりできますが、日本には居住者が寮長の子供が考えられています。さらに、女子だけのゲストは大丈夫ですが、前に許可が必要です。私の寮には近親だけが部屋に一緒に泊まれるのです。アメリカ人の立場でそれは非常に厳しいかもしれないんですが、私にとってはルールを何とも思わなかったです。When you enter or exit the dorm you have to use your special key that records when you leave and when you come back. If you stay overnight somewhere else, you are required to fill out a form and turn it in to the dorm manager. This is the major difference between an American and Japanese dorm; while in America you can freely come and go as you please, in Japan you are seen as the dorm manager’s “children” and they take care of you more. In addition, only female guests are allowed and they all have to be scheduled beforehand. In my dorm, only immediate family members may actually spend the night with you. This may seem incredibly strict from an American standpoint, but I didn’t mind these rules.


入ってから、靴を脱いで割り当てられたスペースに入れます。濡れたら、乾いたまでところに置きます。寮内にははだしで歩くのは禁止されているので、みんながスリッパを持っています。日本及び他のアジアの文化は内で靴を脱ぎ、きれいにしていていいと思います。After entering, you take off your shoes and put them in your assigned cubby. If your shoes are wet there is a place you can put them until they dry off. You can’t walk around barefoot, so everyone has slippers. I really like that Japanese and other Asian cultures take off their shoes inside because then it stays cleaner.

私の部屋は一回にあり、シャワーの近くです。シンク、冷暖房、きれいな家具が含まれて、嬉しかったです。一つの悪いことは、クロゼットはちょっと小さいすぎることし、ベッドと枕は固すぎることでした。10日間おきにシーツを替えて洗濯物袋に入れて、新しいのをもらいます。個人的な選択は、無料で洗濯機を使い、30分おき100円で乾燥器も使えますが、多くの人が外で洗濯物を干します。My room was on the first floor close to the showers. I really liked my room because it had a sink, heater/dryer, and nice furniture. The only thing was that the closet was a bit small  and the bed and pillow a little hard. After every 10 days, you take off your sheets and put them in a bag and get new ones. For your own personal laundry you could use the laundry machines for free and dryers for 100 yen for 30 minutes. Most people just hang their clothes outside to dry.

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ゴミを捨てるのは少し難しくて、最初の頃にちょっと困りました。市の名前が書いてあるゴミ袋を買わなくてはいけないし、ゴミをちゃんと別れます。寮内にはペットボトル、燃えないゴミ、ダンボール等を捨てるところもあって、難しいです!さらに、回収する夜又はその前だけに捨ててもいいです。ルールを守らなかったら、寮長に言われることがあります。Taking out the trash is a little difficult and I had a bit of a hard time in the beginning. You have to buy a specific trash bag that has your city name on it, and separate trash properly. Inside the dorm there is also a place to put your plastic bottles, non-burnables, cardboard, etc. You also can only put out your trash right before it gets picked up or the night before. If you don’t do it right you will get scolded.

個人的なシャワールーム及び銭湯があり、両方も使えます。毎日寝る前に暖かいお風呂がとてもリラックスさせて、普通に銭湯に入りました。しかし、夜だけ開いていますが、シャワールームは24時間入れます。There are two ways you can shower: either in the private shower rooms or in the communal bath. I mostly chose the communal bath because it was so relaxing taking a hot bath before bed every day. However, you can use the communal bath at night while the private showers are 24 hours.

月から土曜日まで休日以外に朝食及び夕食を提供し、日曜日はなしです。毎日優しいおばあさんに料理されて、美味しかったです。食べ物は普通に家庭料理であるので、よい経験だったと思います。Breakfast and dinner was offered everyday on from Monday to Saturday except holidays, and no meals on Sunday. Some very nice grandmas came to the dorm and cooked every day and I really liked the food. It was very nice traditional Japanese home style cooking so it is a good experience.

全体にアメリカに比べて寮はきれいで静かです。居住者は大学生だけではなく、高校生から社会人に及んでいます。三十代の人でも会って、びっくりしました!アメリカと違って、日本の寮は私企業で格別の大学と関係がありません。そのため、様々な人に出会え、世界中から来た留学生も含まれています。夕食時間に一緒に話すのが楽しかったですが、みんなが日本語がペラペラなので、時々分からなかったんです。いつかそちらの留学生のように上手になれるといいんですね。The dorm is very clean and quiet compared to those in America. Residents can range from people being in high school to young professionals, not just college students. I have even met some people who are in their 30s but are still living in the dorm! Unlike in the U.S., the dorms are privately owned and not associated with a particular university. Therefore, you can meet a variety of people, including international students from around the world. I enjoyed talking to them at dinner times, however all of the other non-Americans are super good at Japanese to the point where they are basically fluent, so sometimes it was hard for me to understand. I really want to get better so I can be like them!

最後のことは、優しい寮長を感謝しています。寮長は寮に別々の部屋に住んでいる夫婦で、何かの問題があったらいつでも手伝ってくれます。あまり英語が話せないんですが、ちゃんと伝えられて、他の日本語が話せない留学生に寮長からメセージを伝えました。出発日に寮母は美味しいサンドイッチを作ってくださることを感謝しました。この留学プログラムの間、寮を選んで本当によかったと思います。Lastly, I am incredibly thankful for the nice dorm managers. They are a husband and wife couple who have their own room in the dorm and are always available to help you. They don’t speak much English but I was able to communicate and help the other girls who didn’t speak as much Japanese. The dorm mom made me a sandwich the day I left which was so nice. I’m glad I chose to live in the dorm as it was a truly positive experience for me.

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