I'm sorry you had to experience that. life @ Stanford is anything but uninteresting. as with any school, your college is what you choose to make it. with that said, students here are often characterized as being duck in a pond- on the surface all seems calm (yes, maybe even uninteresting) but underneath it all, students are all chugging along a mile a minute. this may be due to being on the quarter system; there is so much to do within a short period of time. but, i would like to attribute it the fact that everyone is involved in so much. this not an exaggeration, but it seems everyone i talk to in a member of some society, on an a club team, doing researching, or working on top of being a full-time student. and yes, there are even a select few courageous ones that do all of the above. seriously, there is so much to do, so many opportunities to become involved and get practice in becoming a leader; that is probably my favorite thing about life here....
on the not so positive side, Stanford is very much in a bubble. coming from a very urban setting, it was difficult for me to adjust to being somewhat isolated from the "real world." however, many students make weekend trips to San Francisco and other places in order to break the bubble.
In terms of engineering with a minor in Japanese, it is very possible. i know a couple of elecrical engineers that are minoring in Spanish. i cannot attest to the difficulty of majoring/minoring in a language, but i know the engineering curriculm here is pretty large and intense. my only advice is to be sure that you have a solid four-year.
Studying aboard is available here, as well. i think it something like 30% of studnets go abroad...there is a special aborad programs designed specifically for engineers, like spending two quarters in Kyoto. and for those students that can't fit a quarter in their schedule, there are three week seminars offered before school starts in sept.
if you don't mind, i'm gonna abridge these last couple of categories:
housing: depends on the luck of the draw. there are some that are more glamorous than others, but many of our dorms are being newly-renovated. stanford provides a variety of residency options: form have a one-room double to living in "apartment style" rooms.
campus life: it is what you make it. if you r into parties, there are a couple every weekend. if u r looking for a more mellow way to spend an evening, you could spend the night at a poetry reading, a cappella concert, or jazz concert. maybe go to an athletic event (we won the director's cup for the 11th straight year). plus, san francisco is about 30 minutes away. point is there is a lot to do.
classes: intense. we r on the quarter system, which is good b/c u can fit in more classes, but it is like an academic sprint sprint.
professors: i don't have to tell you of the world-renowned faculty that do research here. many opportunities to get involved as an undergraduate. there are introductory seminars offered to frosh and soph and there main purpose is to give faculty a chance to work directly with underclassmen--these are small,intimate courses, maybe 10-12 students. profs are able to engage and mentor young minds. chances are if you are lookin for a mentor, you'll find someone to match your academic interests.
hopefully, I addressed many of your questions. if u have the opportunity a visit is a good way to get the "feel" for a school. otherwise, i recommend visiting the website: https://www.stanford.edu.
good luck with everything. if i have misinterpreted anything or u want to know more, please let me know. keep the questions coming.... ;-)