This post is for +elvira yunitan, though it isn't exactly what you wanted (sorry about that).
Anyway, I was asked this two weeks ago:
1st and 2nd year vs 3rd and 4th year
The 1st two years (well, one and a half) of university is 全学教育, which is basically when we study anything but our major. Sure, we have our core seminar (core zemi), and introduction to economics, but most of the subjects are fairly broad and unrelated.
Which is why the second year of university was one of the most relaxed years ever. I got most of the credits I needed to 全学教育 in year one, so I took a lot of "frivolous" subjects (like Bahasa Indonesia) in that year. (Oh, and we get more economics classes in the second year - those are the compulsory basics, though)
The 3rd year is when zemi begins and we start studying Economics in earnest. A lot of my friends tried to finish taking their credits by the third year, so the second half of the second year and the third year is hectic. I was taking things a bit too easy, which is why I still have classes to take this year.
The big difference between the first two years and the latter two ones is that the last two years (well, at least the third year) is a lot more focused in terms of subject matter.
Studying + Job Hunting
Job hunting is something that throws a big wrench into the whole "study" thing. Especially since they moved the official start date to March, which means that a lot of the kancheong (nervous) students start looking for internships during their third year (which essentially means that people don't really study throughout university).
As much as I want to study, job hunting makes it difficult, especially if you're in Kyushu. There's a lot of travelling involved, especially if you're interested in the bigger companies. And this means missing a lot of lessons. (Tip: don't take classes with required attendance when you're job hunting)
Hmm... I intended this to be a really deep post on studying in Japan, but it feels very shallow. Do, do, do let me know if there's anything you want me to expand on.
(Next post will be me finishing my recap of Singapore :p)
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