WID Waseda facilitates easy and frequent interaction among its residents
Waseda International Dormitories, or WID, is a series of dormitories available for Waseda’s students. As a space designed with international students in mind, WID champions active socialization among its residents. This is particularly important for students coming from abroad, as they are moving to a new place and are likely to have a small social circle upon arrival.
To accommodate its students, there are many living styles available at WID. Male dormitories, female dormitories, and co-ed living are all available through WID dormitories.
One such dormitory is WID Waseda. WID Waseda is a co-ed 5 story building that houses 500 students.
WID Waseda is located within a 5-minute walk from Waseda University’s main campus. It is a modern dormitory right on the scenic border of the Kanda River. During the early springtime, beautiful cherry blossoms near the river can be seen from WID Waseda.
WID Waseda’s RAs provide avenues for residents to interact with one another through various social events
Cho Sohyun, a fourth-year SILS student at Waseda University, describes her experience working as an RA (Resident Assistant) at WID Waseda. Sohyun moved into WID Waseda in March of 2019, and has been living there for 10 months.
She considered applying to be an RA early in her time as a university student, and is now glad that she took the opportunity. Sohyun works tirelessly to support the residents of WID Waseda with their needs and concerns.
Sohyun considers one of the best parts of WID Waseda to be the balance of both intercultural exchange as well as private time.
“The residents can freely and frequently interact with one another,” she says. To help with this, Sohyun assists the other RAs with organizing a variety of activities to engage the residents. These include events within the dormitory as well as excursions to venues and restaurants outside.
Sohyun says, “each floor has a group chat, and residents often communicate through those and form their own social groups.” She helps advertise and organize events through such chats in order to engage the other residents.
On the other hand, as all rooms at WID Waseda are singles, students can easily find privacy even in a communal dorm environment.
Common areas at WID Waseda open avenues for students to meet up with one another and make lifelong friends
Students who live at WID Waseda can choose to opt into a meal plan, which includes breakfast and dinner. Meals are served in the cafeteria on the first floor.
The meal plan is well-balanced and includes varieties of meat and fish. The menu is also designed to consider international students’ tastes.
One of the most common places to meet other residents is at the cafeteria, particularly during mealtimes. WID Waseda residents and RAs organize games and other events. Attending residents often eat out afterward.
Some events at WID Waseda include the Welcome and Christmas parties. The RAs prepare such events for the residents so that they have many opportunities to mingle with one another. “For example, at the welcome party, self-introduction activities and games were played, as many of the residents were meeting one another for the first time. Food and drink were also served to the residents.”
In addition to the meal plan, students are able to cook for themselves. Each floor of WID Waseda has kitchen facilities that students can freely use. These include cooktops, microwaves, ovens, and more.
Students from all over the world cook together in the kitchens. This leads to many opportunities for residents to learn about the cuisines of different countries.
WID Waseda residents can eat their meals in the dining rooms on each floor, which are separated by gender.
There are many spacious common areas where the residents of WID Waseda can study, meet up, and relax.
Each lounge is themed differently, adding variety and interest to the space. The themes are all related to various aspects of Japanese culture, such as in the images above.
Sohyun says that the residents often watch Netflix together at the lounges. While most of the lounges are segregated by gender, the lounge on the first floor is accessible to all residents. It is a common place for residents to hang out.
Baths and Showers
“WID Waseda has private showers in the bathing area, as well as spacious public baths. Each floor has bathing facilities, which are shared by the residents.”
A quintessential aspect of Japanese culture is public bathing. Bathing with others is considered to be a good bonding experience among friends. WID Waseda’s facilities allow international students to participate in this cultural practice.
For residents who desire privacy, each floor also has private showers for residents to use.
WID Waseda also gives importance to the privacy of its residents, and all rooms are singles
Even within the easily-accessible social life of WID Waseda residents, students can still freely seek out privacy when desired. All rooms are single-occupancy rooms.
The rooms are well-furnished Western-style rooms that measure 9.6m2. Each room is equipped with a sliding bed frame. Bed sheets can be rented out at the beginning of a student’s stay for a small fee. There is also a two-door refrigerator.
Rooms also have their own desk, desk chair, telephone, and lamp. The desk has a locked drawer to keep important belongings.
Each room has its own curtains and sliding door which extends onto a veranda. An air conditioning system can be used to regulate the temperature in the room.
Even with the single rooms, residents can still communicate with one another easily. The group chats that are set up on each floor allows students to easily contact one another when they need to do so.
WID Waseda makes the transition into life as an international university student in Japan very easy
From searching for comfortable accommodation to finding a support system, moving to a new country can be a daunting experience. However, through WID Waseda, not only will this transition be hassle-free, but students can also expect to find themselves in a welcoming community for international students. WID Waseda expedites the process through which students can make friends, as it is set up in a way to facilitate interaction among the residents. With students from SILS and other English-based degree programs in Waseda, residents do not have to think of the language barrier when making friends with their fellow peers. WID Waseda is truly an international student’s home away from home.