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Home is Where the Heart is: A Glimpse of AP House 4

Home is Where the Heart is: A Glimpse of AP House 4

I still remember the first time I saw AP House 4 (AP4) from the bus. I thought, “Really! Is this the place I will be living in?!” I was absolutely amazed. It looked like a nice hotel! Little did I realize that within a few days this place would start feeling like home...

As a new student at APU, the first thing you are going to need is a comfortable place to stay. For most of you who do not already have a place figured out before landing in Japan (which means almost all of the graduate students!), the default location is AP4. As it can be a big part of a graduate student’s life at APU, I want to give you all a closer look at what AP4 has to offer.

Privacy at its best

Yes, I am putting this right on top because it was one of the priorities for me. As a graduate student, I wanted my own place to study and relax but I also love interacting with people. AP4 gave me that combo! When I first arrived at AP4 I was glad that all rooms were single accommodation. Equipped with all the necessary electrical equipment, a private bathroom, plus a balcony, living in my room is bliss! However, having a single accommodation room does not restrict me from mingling with other graduate and exchange students. There are regular parties at AP4 to keep everyone’s spirits up! So if you are in for experiencing a true international community while also maintaining your privacy, nothing beats AP4.

Pay it all at once

Talking about comforts, I bet AP4 is one of the most comfortable places for students to live in. Why? AP4 frees you from all worries regarding schedules of rent payments and the hassles of dividing the electricity, water, gas, and internet bills among roommates or flat mates. All I have to do is wait for the monthly lump sum payment of 49,000JPY to be automatically deducted from the bank account APU helps us open when we first arrive. The payment includes rent, bedding, electricity, gas, water, and internet!

Cook, study, and chill

Even if you cook well, you might feel a bit lonely cooking all by yourself... but not at AP4. I was very delighted to find spacious shared kitchens and dining areas on every floor inside AP4 because I always enjoy my time preparing food. If I cook well, I share it with people and earn their praise. If not, they share their food with me and earn my praise!

On the cold days when I do not want to step outside but feel like doing something fun, AP4 provides free indoor games like darts and table tennis. On top of that, I also love to attend the free Japanese language and culture lessons available for all AP4 residents twice a week.

Furthermore, each floor has a lounge area with free Wi-Fi. I love chilling there with my friends while we read, study, and have endless discussions together while looking out at the gorgeous view of the sea from the window.

Lots of perks

AP4 is not only comfortable, but it spoils you—and it has most definitely been spoiling me. AP4 takes care of me in almost every possible way. There is always someone at the first floor AP4 office to assist residents at all times. They immediately help me with the keys if I get locked out (this happened to me more than I would like to admit), and they keep important and confidential letters and mail for me, which I can collect anytime. The security office is open 24-7 and ensures that the place is safe and secure at all times. Last but not least, I do not know what I would do if they didn’t offer a free laundry service for bedding sheets twice a month, and they take care of the kitchen cleaning and maintenance for all of us residents too!

Party and more!

AP4 has a lot of events and parties throughout the year for its residents. I remember the first flea market event held the day after I arrived at AP4 for new students who need basic stuff like pots, pans, and routers. That was just the beginning, as time went on me and my friends enjoyed many different events like the fresher’s party, floor parties, farewell parties, and various multicultural events! The most memorable one for me was a gaming event—the ultimate dream for the game savvy, with free pizzas!

And yet... to stay or not to stay

Well, this is a personal choice. A lot of students who decide to move out of AP4 after a few months do so due to factors that are important to their living experience in Beppu. For example, some graduate students may want to live together with a particular group of friends or they may have family coming to live with them from abroad. Others might want to shift into lower-cost accommodations as there are cheaper options elsewhere in Beppu, or they may desire to stay closer to the university as AP4 is approximately thirty minutes away from campus by bus.

Though it can be tough to find a place that exactly suits your needs, AP4 is a good first step into Beppu. For some it becomes a fond memory of their initial days in the city, while for others, like me, it becomes a home away from home that they don’t part with for their entire duration of study at APU! Nevertheless, both experiences are crucial as a student and act as a catalyst for our student life here in Japan.

Stay tuned for my next blog about the location around AP House 4 to learn more about some things you can enjoy in your free time at APU!

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Astha Chadha is a doctoral student from India, and also a master's graduate from the division of International Relations in the Graduate School of Asia Pacific Studies. Our witty Indian, Astha is very fond of getting into debates and discussions, and APU's environment has given wings to her dream of experiencing university life in Japan while also interacting with people from all over the world! She can usually be seen hanging around with friends in the library (for the thirst of knowledge) or the cafeteria (for the hunger never dies...). She loves talking about anything related to food, travel, dance, and her personal favorite—Bollywood!