Once I arrived at the university, I was shown to my own dorm room, which is somewhat of a luxury compared to the standard two-person dorm rooms at Randolph-Macon. The lighting and air conditioning were actually connected to my room key, under a system where they'll only turn on when my room key is set in a slot on the wall.
It's an interesting way to help with energy conservation, and the technology is also cool in a way I am not used to seeing in the US. It was outfitted with a refrigerator as well, a necessity for doing our own cooking. Kansai Gaidai does not have a traditional meal plan like I am used to; instead, there is a cafeteria on the main campus where you can buy meal tickets, and kitchens inside the dorms for personal cooking. Each floor of the dorm is divided into several blocks, and each block has its own facilities, including bathrooms, a laundry room, and the aforementioned kitchen. On inspecting the kitchens, I found that each students has their own pantry as well, which helps reduce storage concerns within the room.
As a full exchange student, I was allotted a meal stipend, which allows me to choose my eating plans at my leisure. As it stands, I have only received about a quarter of my meal stipend, but I am looking forward to doing some cooking of my own for a change once I get the rest. As one may expect, Japanese ingredients are different from ones seen in the US, such as eggs having stricter health regulations and mayonnaise being a tangier, richer kind of mayo known as kewpie mayo. As a result of the different circumstances surrounding eggs, they are very commonly eaten raw in Japan. It can be something of a shock for American people to see Japanese dishes with raw or runny eggs being prepared, but I don't mind them. I am looking forward to understanding more unique aspects of Japan's food culture while I am here, and practicing them in the dorms.