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8 Things your Waseda Tuition Pays For (And You May Not Know About)
As a student at Waseda University, you (or your scholarship) may pay a relatively big amount of taxes. This money won't buy you only access to facilities or an education, but several small extra features that you may not know about.
Most of this information is available on the web, but it's either in Japanese or very well hidden. So here are some tips to make the most out of your money at the great Waseda University!
Waseda Credit Card
While you may not necessarily need a credit card, having one can be helpful in Japan when it comes to paying things online (pre-paid cards are not that common) or having a phone contract (many of the cheaper ones require payment on a credit card).
Unfortunately, being a student makes it difficult to be accepted by major credit card holders.
However, unbeknownst to many, Waseda has its own credit card program!
You can find all the info you need here in Japanese; keep in mind that the whole application process is also in Japanese, so you may want to bring someone to help you if your Japanese game is still not strong.
Similar to Dropbox, Box is an online storage that you can use for your important documents, just in case you spill coffee over your computer. Through Waseda, you can get a free Box account!
The only catch is that you have to use a Waseda-based network to register the first time you access (meaning that you will have to be on campus, using the Waseda computer, or use your own computer on the Waseda campus wi-fi connection or routed connection)
Get it here (it's in Japanese, but you can later change your Box language to English once you're registered).
Refworks is a useful reference software, which might come in handy if you have a very long list of references for your thesis. Well, you can register for a free account through Waseda!
Just push the "LOGIN" button on the Waseda University Library website, here. Once again, the first time you access to register, you will need to be on campus or using a Waseda internet network.
Access to the gym + free health check
At the beginning of the semester, you will have a chance to get a free health check!
They are going to check your basic stats (urine exam, chest x-ray, eyesight...), and this is useful because you can get a certificate that is necessary to subscribe to the gym in Japan.
Speaking of which, Waseda has its own gym! It's obviously not top-notch when it comes to machine technology, but if you're just looking for a cheap place to do some running or weight-lifting, Waseda Gym only costs 3000 yen (roughly 30 euros/dollars) per year! Given how expensive gyms are in Japan, it's a steal. You can find info about the gym here.
Waseda also has a Refresh Studio, where you can access to Yoga and Aerobics beginner level lessons or have a space to do your own yoga. You can find more info here.
6 free months of Amazon Student
This is pretty common also in the U.S., but many other students may not know.
You can register for Amazon Prime Japan, and get 6 free months of Prime, plus 2000 yen worth of points to spend online! Prime gives you the chance to have expedited and planned shipping for free, and you can accumulate points that you can later spend on Amazon goods.
My advice is to do this before the beginning of the semester, so that you can buy at least one of your books for free!
You can subscribe to Prime here, by using your Waseda email account.
Free Orchestra Tickets
If you sign up for International Community Center (ICC) newsletter, you will find out that every once in a while they give away orchestra tickets for free! The locations and orchestras change, even though NHK Philarmonic Orchestra seems to be almost omnipresent. So drop by at ICC or visit their website, subscribe to their newsletter and keep on checking your email: usually free tickets are given away every two months or so.
24/7 Computer Lab
This seems to be a very well-kept secret, for no reason at all.
Most buildings and libraries in Waseda University close around 10pm, so what will you do if you're a night owl?
Building 22 in Waseda University has a facility open 24hours, 7 days per week (or almost, nobody knows for sure). The only catch is that, if you stay late at night, you will need your Student Card to show it to the guards/fill a form.
The lab is not the nicest place on Earth (it's very crowded on weekends during finals, and the computers are older with quite dirty keyboards), but if you feel the need to just workworkwork focusfocusfocus on that paper that you're supposed to hand in tomorrow morning, it's a good choice.
If you think you need help with your paper/thesis - maybe you're not a native English speaker, or you're not sure the writing flows as it should - you should drop by at the Academic Center. You can reserve lessons with a trained tutor, who will help you fix your material and develop yourself as a writer. You can find more info about the Center here.
Have you ever tried any of these services? Do you know more useful things we're missing here? Leave a comment below!