A defining aspect of the studying abroad experience, although one that does not necessacirly apply to all exchange students, is living in a student dormitory. Waseda’s dormitories, and more specifically, the Waseda University Nishi Waseda International Student Dormitory (早稲田大学西早稲田留学生寮)—otherwise known as “the dorm” or “nishi,” will surely be fondly remembered by all of its soon-to-depart students.
Since most of its residents come from their respective countries’ top universities, the atmosphere of the dormitory can be quite unique—it isn’t rare for conversations about various topics to be very interesting, and at times fascinating—politics, business, economics, technology—most students know at least one subject quite thoroughly.
Perhaps placing bright students together might eventually result in an ideal breeding ground for new academic and entrepreneurial ideas. Japan, the country in which the popular idea of “making it big” is to find a stable job in a large company (as opposed to its Western counterpart: creating a large, successful company) could certainly use more of these kinds of environments.