Monday, February 2, 2009

GRE, Japan, and the nearing end of Winter

I'm in the process of applying to a graduate program back in the States, which I'll talk more about if I get accepted. Although I am very excited about the possibility about being accepted. To complete my application I will have to fly to Japan to take the GRE, as the GRE is only offered in Korea twice a year, but in Japan you can take it almost any day of the year. So I've been spending my free time figuring out where I'm going to take the test, how I'm going to get there, where I'm going to stay, and studying for it. I went ahead and scheduled the test for later this month. I'll be back at work for the next two weeks, but then I'll have some down time again where I'll be able to fly over for a day or two to take the test.

This winter has been as cold as I thought it would be, but these last couple days have been really nice, as it has been above freezing. Spring should be beautiful once it comes.
The top picture is of coals that are used to cook your meat at your table during a Korean style BBQ. The second picture is of a snowy night.
Since I have been stuyding for the GRE I have not yet had the time to make any developments to my website, but I'll keep you posted once I put something up. What I'll probably do is at first put up a basic site, and build it up through out the year.


lilytrue said...

That's great, Steve! I hope that the test goes well! Happy studying!


The Swigarts said...

Keep up the good work. The pics look awesome! Add another one of you.

hoxymoron said...

Hey there. I'm considering taking the GRE in Japan just as you did and was wondering if you could answer some questions.

1) Where and when exactly did you take the test?

2) What obstacles did you encounter getting to the test center and taking the test?

3) What would you do differently if you could take it again in Japan?

4) Where did you stay in relation to the test center?

Much appreciated! Any advice at all is helpful.

Steven said...

I took the GRE in Osaka, because I thought there would be less distractions there than in Tokyo. I flew in to Osaka and took a train to the northern part of Osaka, and I think I stayed at a Ramada Hotel, which was directly across the street from the testing center. Google Maps works in Osaka quite well, but most of it is in Japanese, but you can still figure it out if you try. Go do the GRE's website and find where their testing facility is in Osaka, and then enter the info in Google Maps and you will see the Ramada there. (I think it's this: Prometric Testing Center,
Nakatsu Center Building 7F,
1-11-1 Nakatsu Kita-ku,
Osaka, Japan )
I recommend the Ramada, because the rooms are a good size and you don't have to worry about people keeping you up the day before you take the test. Plus Osaka is still a great city to tour around in, and it's easy to take a 20 minute train, or so, to Kyoto. If you go to Osaka go to the top of the highest building, I forget what it's called, but it has the best view that I've ever seen. Also wonderful food in Osaka, there are a bunch of restaurants that you can walk to from the Ramada, just ask the people at the hotel where all the restaurants are, (they are next to a large electronics mall) and if you want to stay cheaper you could stay in the Ramada the day before your test and then stay in hostels after that.

I took the test the morning after I arrived, and it was a bit stressful at first. But I wanted to enjoy Japan as much as possible, so I took the test as soon as possible. I would say walk to the testing center they day you get there so you know exactly where it is, and take the test the next morning. Oh, and buy your breakfast the night before at a convenient store.