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From Thailand: Let's ask Yanika, Q&A about Life in Fukuoka!

REAL Voices! International Students on Life in Fukuoka!
LANGUAGES AVAILABLE: Interview Now Interview Now Interview Now Interview Now Interview Now Interview Now
Fukuoka Prefecture boasts the third largest number of international students in Japan. You can encounter a lot of international atmosphere here. In this special feature, you can listen to the "real voices of international students" studying in Fukuoka. This time in Life in Fukuoka Q&A, we bring to you Yanika from Thailand, who goes to a vocational school in Fukuoka City. We were curious about things like "In comparison to Thailand, which products or services did you find expensive?"

Teachers, friends and many other people around me are kind and helpful!

◎ About being a student here in Fukuoka

ab: What was your reason for studying in Fukuoka?

When I decided to study in Japan, I didn't know whether to go to Osaka, which I had visited and liked before, or Fukuoka. When I looked into it, I chose Fukuoka because I found out that the cost of living is lower and it's less crowded. It has an abundance of nature, and there are many Thai people here too! There are a lot of sightseeing spots, and the food is delicious! I'm happy here!

ab: How did you collect information about Fukuoka before coming here?

At first I tried searching online in Thai, but I was more successful when I switched to English. I could find information on things like Mentaiko (spicy cod roe) and other foods, apartment rentals and hourly rates for part time jobs. I also talked to a Thai acquaintance who was studying at a school in Oita Prefecture, who told me there are many fun things to do in Fukuoka!

ab: If you have any recommendations or insights about studying Japanese, please share them here!

I studied with a book called "Minna no Nihongo" which has three levels from beginner to intermediate. Also, once I was in Japan, I worked part-time at a restaurant. I polished my Japanese by talking to the owner, chef and customers. Another fun way for me to learn about Japanese culture was to go out with my Japanese friends.

ab: What do you like about the school you currently attend?

I'm currently studying confectionery at a vocational school in Fukuoka City. There are only two or three international students in the class, but the teacher is able to give us a little extra support and teach us in a friendly manner. Fellow classmates also kindly offer their help as we continue our studies. And the other day, I won a prize in the sweets making contest!


◎ Living arrangement information

ab: What kind of room do you live in? (Room-share? Dormitory?)

(Before I entered vocational school) While studying at a Japanese language school, I lived in a furnished dormitory. After graduating from the language school, I moved into a small apartment with a loft. The bathroom and toilet are seperate. I do not find rent prices too expensive in Fukuoka.

ab: How much are your monthly living expenses?

While I lived in the dormitory, it was about 50,000 Yen including utility costs and Wi-Fi. Electricity bills are high in summer and winter due to the use of air conditioners. I spend about 40,000 Yen on food that I cook myself or when I go out somewhere. I have two hamsters, so I also have to pay for their food and toys, but in total I don't think that I spend more than 100,000 Yen on living expenses a month.

ab: Is there anything that comes to mind that you could mention where you think "this is cheap!" or "this is expensive!'?

I was surprised about how expensive fruits are! Even oranges and apples are expensive, not to mention watermelons, melons and Kyoho grapes. On the contrary, Japanese cosmetics and vitamin supplements seem to be cheaper than buying them in Thailand.

ab: What was the one thing that surprised you the most when you came to Japan/Fukuoka? (food, cultural differences etc.)

What really surprised me the most was that tea was not sweet! Thai tea is usually quite sweet. My theory is that it might be so sweet to combat the drowsiness that can occur in hot climates. Another thing that surprised me was that almost all Japanese like Karaoke! At first I was embarrassed to sing, but now I have improved a lot.

ab: What Japanese things are you into right now?

I'm addicted to Japanese bread, which is softer and lighter than Thai bread! I like to bake bread at home after watching recipe videos online. Another favorite of mine is Japanese sushi. In Japan, I can eat fresh sushi at a reasonable price, so I go to eat Sushi two or three times a week with my friends who share my love for Sushi.

◎ Having fun in Fukuoka

ab: Tell us about the fun things you like to do in Fukuoka?

This is my fourth year in Fukuoka. I love traveling! Fukuoka is a modern city with many department stores, so shopping for clothes is also fun. I do appreciate that there is a lot of nature: I like going to the seaside or going to parks. I make Bento-lunches and share them with my friends, having picnics is one of my favorite things to do.

ab: Which place did you like best in Fukuoka so far?

I went to Fukuoka Tower, as part of my fieldwork during school. This trip left a lasting impression on me. Even though it is not as tall as Tokyo Tower, I could see the ocean and the city of Fukuoka all around me. As always, Fukuoka's citizens were very kind, and I got to take many photos with my friends. I made many great memories on that day visiting Fukuoka Tower.

ab: When you visit your home country, what kind of things do you take home for yourself and what souvenirs do you choose for your family and friends?

I haven't been able to go back to Thailand since the start of the pandemic, but I used to buy souvenirs that contained my favorite Mentaiko (spicy roe). I also used to buy vitamin supplements for some of my relatives.

ab: Please share your favorite photo that you took in Fukuoka!

Crane games are not very popular in Thailand but I like playing crane games for soft toys. Japanese people love their soft toys, don't they!? This photo was taken by a friend of mine in Tenjin, Fukuoka City. I was delighted to win a soft cat toy at the game center!


◎ A message to everyone who wants to study in Fukuoka!

Fukuoka is a comfortable laid back city. Living expenses are reasonable and people are friendly. If you ever felt like you wanted to visit Fukuoka, you should do it! It surely was the right decision for me! Coming to a place with different food, culture and language can be difficult at times, but moving to Fukuoka to live here has given me the opportunity to gain the most important experiences of my life. Let's all learn together, many different things about Fukuoka!


YanikaI'm Yacchan from Thailand. I am an international student studying in Fukuoka. I love Fukuoka! Let's have a BBQ together some day!

- Hobbies: making sweets/deserts, taking cae of my hamsters, Karaoke, and travel
- Favourite Japanese food: sushi, Chicken Nanban (marinated fried chicken with tartar sauce)
- Favourite Japanese anime or manga: "SPY×FAMILY", "Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon"
- Favourite Japanese artist and song: "Gyutto.," and "Kirakira" (Mosawo; Jp: もさを。), "Smile" (Mori Nana)

Useful Information - External Links - Find out even more about Fukuoka!

Fukuoka travel guide!
- Fukuoka Prefecture Tourist Association VISIT FUKUOKA: https://www.crossroadfukuoka.jp/
└ CYCLE & TRAIL FUKUOKA: https://www.crossroadfukuoka.jp/cycletrail/
└ Traditional Crafts of Fukuoka, Japan: https://www.crossroadfukuoka.jp/traditionalcrafts/
└ HOT SPRING GUIDE THE ONSEN FUKUOKA: https://fukuoka-onsen.com/english/

Study in Fukuoka!
- Fukuoka International Student Support Center (FiSSC): https://www.fissc.net/
- Fukuoka International Exchange Foudation: https://kokusaihiroba.or.jp/

Live in Fukuoka!
- Fukuoka Prefecture Official Website: https://www.pref.fukuoka.lg.jp/site/english/

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