Monday, October 12, 2009

8 Things Exchange Students Should Do in Japan After Arriving

Photo by GavinZ

As exchange students, or as visitors on the working holiday visa, there are certain things and procedures that we have to take care of before we can comfortably settle down. Without alien registration, for example, we would get into trouble after our first 90 days.

So, here are some things that we should try to do after arriving in Japan:

1. Find a roof over your head. If you don't have a home yet, you should try to get out of your hotel as soon as possible. Check out some gaijin houses in your area.

2. Register yourself at the city hall. Foreigners must do an alien registration, gaikokujin touroku (外国人登録).

3. Photocopy your alien registration card, in case you happen to lose it. You should also have a copy of your passport.

4. Find out where you can withdraw money from your own country's bank account. You can usually access foreign bank accounts from post office ATMs (ゆうちょ銀行).

5. Contact your school, and let them know you've arrived. Tell them your address, phone number and email as soon as possible.

6. Open a bank account. It's convenient to have a bank account if you have a lot of cash with you and want to keep it someplace safe. Part-time jobs also often require you to have a bank account in Japan.

7. Buy a cell phone. Some services require your contact number.

8. If your room isn't connected to the Internet, find the closest and cheapest Internet café.

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