Living in safety
1. Traffic Rules
Traffic accidents that involve international students on bicycles are very common. Be careful whenever and wherever you ride.
- Traffic Signs: Watch out for and obey all signs on the roads. (Stop!) applies to bicycles, too. Do not ride out blindly onto any roads.
- Bicycles: Be aware of the following when riding your bicycle.
- Traffic accidents involving bicycles occar not only with cars on the road but also with pedestrians on the pavement. When you need to ride a bicycle on a pedestrian road, always give priority to the pedestrians. Watch out and ride slowly. Using your mobile phone, earphones, or umbrella while riding your bicycle and riding with two people on a bicycle are strictly prohibited. Turn your bicycle's light on when it is dark outside.
- When you buy a bicycle be sure to fill out loss prevention registration. If the shop is a participating store with the Aichi Prefecture Bicycle Loss Prevention Registration Association, they can register your bicycle. If you wish to dispose of your bicycle, you can un-register the bicycle and they will give you a receipt to prove it was deleted.
- If you receive a bicycle from someone, please register the bicycle with loss prevention in your own name. Have the previous owner fill out the Transference of Ownership of Bicycle (linked to a MS-Word document) form and receive the receipt to prove the previous registration was deleted, if they have it. Normally, the shop where you purchase the bicycle does registration and deletion, but if you have either the deletion receipt or Transference of Ownership slip and ID (residence card, etc.) you can perform it at any store that allows.
For further inforamtion about bicycle loss prevention registration, please refer to the web page of Aichi Police (in Japanese only).
- If you intend to commute to Higashiyama campus by bicycle, be sure to get a special sticker for your bicycle at the office of your school. Please be warned that bicycles not carrying this sticker may be removed from campus.
- Do not claim stray bicycles. In most cases they will have been stolen. It is illegal to ride a stolen bicycle.
- Lock your bicycle at all times. (Preferably double or triple locks)
- Cars and Motorcycles: Students are strongly discouraged from driving while studying abroad. Newly arrived students, in particular, are not used to Japanese traffic and are at risk of being involved in accidents. In case of an accident, the amount of compensation usually,exceeds the individual's ability to pay the costs, unless covered by a comprehensive insurance.
If intending to drive, be aware of the following:
◆Those who drive must have a Japanese driver's license. It is prohibited to drive without a Japanese driver's license.
◆Your country's driver's license is invalid in Japan. International licenses acquired through the internet are definitely invalid. If you attempt to drive with such documents you will be charged with the crime of driving without a license.
◆To obtain a Japanese license, obtain the relevant information from Aichi Police and apply at the Driving License Examination Center in Hirabari.
Aichi Police: http://www.pref.aichi.jp/police/menkyo/index.html (Japanese)
The Driving License Examination Center in Hirabari
◆In case of an accident, the “Ji-Baiseki-Hoken" (obligatory insurance) will not cover all costs by itself. Those who drive should get "Nin-i Hoken" (optional insurance) in addition to the obligatory one. Nagoya University Co-op provides some options for such insurance.
◆The parking lots at International Residences, Foreign Student House and International Omeikan are for business, not for student use.
2. If involved in a traffic accident.
If you are involved in a traffic accident, remain calm and do the following even when the accident seems trivial.
- If anyone is injured, dial 119 for an ambulance.
- Move any dangerous including vehicles, off the road to prevent other accidents.
- Report the accident immediately, even if it is small, to a nearby police station (dial 110) and obtain a report of the accident.
- Write down the licence plate number of the car concerned as well as the name, address and age of the driver, after requesting to see his/her driver’s licence.
- If there are witnesses, write down their names, addresses and telephone numbers.
- Make detailed notes of the accident and take photographs, if possible.
- See a doctor, even if you think that you are all right, because sometimes symptoms can take time to occur.
- Consult your insurance company as soon as possible.
(Compensation for damages)
- The victim may claim compensation from the perpetrator for all damages caused by the accident. However, if any fault lies with the victim, damages will be reduced correspondingly.
- Compensation for damages is calculated according to classification. The three categories for calculation are injury, residual disability and death. Even what appears to be a slight injury may turn out to be a residual disability.
- The perpetrator's insurance company will negotiate with the victim. If the victim decides to settle the matter with the perpetrator privately, he/she may not be paid compensation by the perpetrator's insurance company.
- Agree to an out-of-court-settlement only after confirming that the compensation offered by the insurance company is reasonable.
<Information about free traffic accident consultation service>
<Free Legal Consultations>
Nagoya International Center
(10:00-12:30 on Saturdays)
3. Student Insurance
The National Health Insurance Scheme does not fully cover the fees for the treatment of injuries that arise from accidents. If you cause damage to someone else's property, or cause injury to another person, you will be liable to pay damages which may exceed your budget. The JNHI does not cover this liability for damages. In recent years, many bicycle accidents have occured in which a student traveling on a bicycle at a high speed hit and seriously injured a pedestrian. These students were liable for large amounts of medical expenses. Thus, it is strongly recommended that you join other insurance schemes to cover yourself against such costly events.
- Student Insurances provided by JESS (Japan Educational Exchanges and Services)
From April 2015, Nagoya University recommends every student join both "JEES Student Insurance" (1) and "the University Co-op's Students Personal Liability Insurance" (4) at least. Some facuties may compel all of their students to join 1 and 2.
Personal Accident Insurance for Students Pursuing Educaion and Research (with special coverage for the commute to school and while being in transit between school facilities):
Insurance for injuries caused by accidents during curricular activities on campus, such as experiments or gymnastics in reglar courses, official programs, extracurricular activities, and commuting is provided. (Annual premium: A-type ¥650, B-type ¥550)
Third Party Incidental Liability Insurance for Students Pursing Education and Research:
This covers compensation for damages to a third party or a third party's property that may occur during curricular activities on campus, such as experiments or gymnastics in regular courses, official programs, extracurricular activities, internship activities, and commuting. (Annual premium: (1) + ¥340)
- Comprehensive Personal Liability and Accident Insurance for Students Pursuing Education and Research:
Expansive insurance including coverage for general student life, such as fees for medical treatment and rescue expenses. (Annual premium:¥11,000--¥16,000)
For further information, please refer to the JEES website (http://www.jees.or.jp) or inquire at your School's office.
Student Insurances provided by the University Co-op
From April 2015, Nagoya University recommends every student join "the University Co-op's Students Personal Liability Insurance" (4).
Student Personal Liability Insurance:
This covers compensation for damages to a third party or a third party’s property that may occur not only during curricular activities on campus, but also during any time in daily life. As long as the accident occurs in Japan, an insurance company will provide an out-of-court-settlement service to negotiate with the third party on behalf of the contractor. To join this insurance, the student should also join the University Co-op by paying the 4,000 yen membership fee (which will be reimbursed on graduation or termination of study abroad at Nagoya University). (Annual premium: ¥1,780)
- Comprehensive Student Mutual Insurance - Life Mutual Insurance:
Even though the National Health Insurance Scheme (JNHI) covers 70% of your medical expenses, you may have to pay an unexpected amount for the treatment of your illness or injuries. This insurance provides the prescribed daily sum of money for hospitalization or being treated at a hospital. (Annual premium: ¥3,400 or ¥11,400)
For further information, please refer to the University Co-op's Student Mutual Benefit web-site (http://kyosai.univcoop.or.jp/) or inquire at the Nagoya University Co-op.
4. Protection from Natural Disasters (Earthquake Emergency Measures)
Japan witnesses many earthquakes. It is predicted that an earthquake of equivalent scale will also hit the Tokai area in the near future. Familiarizing yourself with the nearest evacuation area and emergency procedures is essential for minimizing potential earthquake damage. When you feel the quake, DO NOT panic. Rushing out in alarm
will result in unnecessary injuries and accidents.
(1) Earthquake Preparation:
◆ Secure bookshelves or heavy furnishings to the wall. Do not sleep where furniture or items may fall down on you.
◆ Store three days supply of water (9L per person) and food.
◆ Prepare an emergency bag including items such as a first aid kit, everyday items, valuables such as your passport, etc., to take with you when evacuate. A flashlight or slippers (shoes) should be kept at your bedside.
(2) When an Earthquake occurs:
- Protect yourself (Hide under a desk/table and cover your head; move to a spot where you will avoid falling objects).
- Open a door to secure an exit. (Do not rush outside until the tremors stop.)
- Switch off any heaters and gas.
- Get the right information from TV or radio.
- Do not use elevators when evacuating.
(3) Earthquake Early Warnings:
Just as an earthquake occurs in the epicenter, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) issues prompt alter with the estimated seismic intensities and expected arrival time of prinicipal motion. This is done on the data observed by seismographs near the epicenter.
The warning is provided through the media such as TV or radio and it aims to mitigate earthquake-related damages by allowing countermeasures to avoid danger and enabling people to quickly protect themselves in public transportation, at public facilities, offices, houses and so on.
Earthquake Early Warnings (Japan Metrological Agency):
In the event of a major earthquake, please contact your family, friends and staff or faculty members of your department as soon as possible to tell them your condition. At times of disaster it is difficult to get a connection, because of heavy traffic on telephone lines. Reliable means of contact are emails from a mobile phone or Disaster Emergency Dengon Dial 171. Please get to know how to contact your family, friends and staff/faculty members of your department by checking international dial codes and keeping important numbers handy.
Disaster Emergency Dengon Dial 171: In the event of earthquake, by using a phone number in the disaster area as the secret code, you can access this message bank service and record or play safety messages by following the sound guidance (in Japanese). You can access this service through installed, public, or mobile phones. Please familiarize yourself with this system, which can be used on a trial basis on the
first day of every month.
(4) Nearest Evacuation Area:
It is advisable to confirm the nearest evacuation areas and shelters in your community. "Map of Shelters & Safe Areas" is available from the website of The City of Nagoya.
("Emergencies" ---> "Maps of Evacuation Areas")
(5) NU Survivor Confirmation System:
Nagoya University is developing a survivor confirmation system, which is operated through the "Nagoya University Portal". During a disaster, you will be able to inform the university of your situation by using this system. Accurate safety information is vital for providing proper aid for suffers.
Details of this system are available from the index tab "DISASTER PREVENTION" on NU Portal site (MyNU).
Register your e-mail address on the portal site to receive the important announcements from Nagoya University during a disaster.
To access the potal site, your Nagoya Daigaku ID and Password are necessay.
Nagoya University Potal: https://portal.nagoya-u.ac.jp/
(6) Other information:
Office, Nagoya University
about Earthquakes (provided by Nagoya City)
(Index of "Emergency")
Emergency information in foreign languages following an earthquake
Please participate in the seminars for earthquake preparedness that are held every semester by Nagoya University.
5. Compliance with Japanese Law
During their stay in Japan, any student who commits a crime, misdemeanor or any other illegal act, will be subject to legal procedures according to Japanese Law. Nagoya University also takes strict disciplinary measures against staff and students who commit crimes or misdemeanors, and may expel them from university.
(1) Prohibition of Narcotics
In Japan, the possession and sale, for personal use or otherwise, of all narcotics and any illegal substances are strictly prohibited. There are so called "legal herbs" which are in fact poisonous and have caused serious damage. If offered, refuse them. In such an instance like leaving Japan temporarily, never agree to look after a stranger's luggage at the airport.
(2) Drinking and Smoking Restrictions
In Japan, people aged under 20 are not allowed to drink or smoke. In gatherings where there are participants aged under 20, never offer them alcohol. Smoking is not allowed in many places, including stations, public facilities and within the campus. Nagoya city has special zones where smoking on the street is banned. If found smoking there, you will be fined.
Driving a car, riding a motorcycle or bicycle after drinking any amount of alcohol is a serious offence in Japan, and can also cause accidents. Never drive after drinking. Those who accept a ride in a car that is driven by a drunk driver or those who offer alcohol to a driver are all subject to punishment under Japanese law.
(3) Prohibition of Computer Crime
Distributing movies, music or software on computer networks without the permission of copyright holder is prohibited. Students should also refuse to use or possess illegally copied software, music and movies.
(4) Everyday Etiquette
Whilst inside a shop, removing product wrappers, price tags or putting products into pockets or bags before actually paying for them may be treated as an attempt to shoplift in Japan. Talking on your mobile phone or chatting in a loud voice with friends in public places,
such as on a train, can cause a disturbance in Japan.
6. Safety Guide
Japan is not as safe as most people think. There is the risk of crime anywhere in the world,
including Japan. This is what you can do avoid problems.
◆ Avoid going out alone at night and keep away from deserted places.
◆ Many bag-snatchings occur in Nagoya. Keep your handbag close when walking on the street.
◆ Do not answer phone calls from unknown numbers. Do not open the door to strangers, even if they claim that they are representing certain companies. If necessary the companies will put notices in your mailbox, so it is not necessary to open the door for an unknown visitor. Lock and chain the door of your apartment when you are at home.
◆ There are deserted or dark places on campus which you should avoid. There is the risk of
theft inside and outside of buildings. Please always protect your
◆ To avoid being a victim of crimes such as fraud, illegal business practices, or stalking, do not answer advertising gimmicks and tempting campaigns. Do not give your personal information to strangers. Trouble on the Internet has increased. Be careful about buying and selling through online auctions. Internet based fraud is continuously increasing. Be mindful of the online trade of items.
If you have any kind of trouble or become an eyewitness to a violent act or crime, call the police immediately (police hotline: 110).
If you witness any trouble on campus,
- inform the Security Guard Station (phone number: 052-789-4917)
- if you are near a school office, go in and report it immediately.
If you become a victim of a crime, please do not hesitate to consult a counselor on campus and contact the police.
7. Loss of Purses, Cash Cards and ID Cards
Report the loss to the office of your school, as the finder may contact the university.
- When you lose cash cards or credit cards, report to the issuing bank, the postal office or the credit company and cancel the card(s).
- Report the loss to the nearest "KOBAN" (police box).
- Loss of your student ID card should be reported the loss to the office of your school. Please apply for a new card.
Living in Japan, away from the environment that you are most familiar with, is often more challenging and stressful than expected. Most people will experience some stress as part of this process. Here are some tips about cultural adaptation that may help you to cope with the stress due to cultural differences, and make the most of your life and study in Japan. In the Advising & Counseling Services (ACS) of the International Education & Exchange Center, counselors and a medical doctor are receiving consultations about cultural adjustment. Please contact the ACS office for concerns and questions.
1. Culture shock
Although "culture shock" is generally understood as a temporary shock felt when confronted by different cultural customs, ways of thinking and behavior patterns, it actually refers to a psychological state of depression caused by a succession of failure experiences in unfamiliar social situations. Culture shock is temporary and everybody goes through it to some extent in the process of cultural adaptation. General symptoms of culture shock include negative feelings, such as losing self confidence, feeling depressed, attributing all failure to yourself, feeling that nobody understands you, feeling inadequate, etc. Accordingly, you may lose motivation to talk with people or to attend classes. Most of these psychological reactions are, again, very natural in the process of cultural adaptation. Please take time to cope with each single event in your life, and you will be able to overcome these emotions sooner or later.
2. Differences in "academic culture"
It is widely accepted that different values, behavioral and communication patterns exist from culture to culture. However, we often fail to realize that there are also differences in “academic culture”, such as the expected roles of academic advisers and students, classroom communication, evaluation criteria, etc. Such differences can also become a major cause of stress. For example, the relationship between academic adviser and advisee is considered particularly important at graduate level education in Japan. Some knowledge of the Japanese academic culture will help you achieve your goal more smoothly. For concerns and questions, feel free to talk with advisors to make a better research environment.
3. Cope with Stress
If you feel pressured by stress or lose confidence in your
ability to study, you should think about releasing yourself from these negative emotions. Achieving good results in your studies may take a certain amount of time, and ought to be viewed as an accumulative process. Sometimes, you will need to take a break. If you feel
tired, do not push yourself too hard and try to enjoy some of your favorite foods, recreation, and physical exercise. It is also recommended that you talk with your friends, academic advisor, or international student advisors/counselors. Moreover, please do not consider the process of cultural adaptation solely as a cause of stress; you can learnt remendously about various cultures, including your own, from this process.
The custom and interpretation of female-male relationship or dating vary largely depending on the
person and on the culture. The same behavior may be interpreted very differently among cultures, which can cause unnecessary troubles or serious damages on person's mental/physical conditions. It is important to behave wisely as adults, respecting each one's personality and culture.
Nagoya University has set up a Harassment Consultation Center to prevent and eliminate the occurrence of any kinds of harrasment, such as sexual harrasment and academic harrasment. Professional counselors deal with inquiries with the utmost respect for their clients' feelings and wishes. Where the necessity arises, claims will be referred to the Committee for the Prevention of Harassment for investigation and arbitration. The Harassment Consultation Center works on issues of any degree of gravity. If you observe someone suffering from any kind of harassment, you may also come and report the case. In addition to the Harassment Consultation Center, each School at Nagoya University has appointed a faculty member as contact person (cf. see below). For English language consultation, you may visit the representative at the IEEC. Earlier consultation will prevent the situation from getting serious. All consultation will be kept strictly confidential.
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