The reason I decided to study abroad is because of the Japanese teacher whom I met in middle school. I was interested in Japanese traditional culture through Japanese animations, but I had no knowledge of the Japanese culture. During that time, I selected Japanese language classes in middle school and took Japanese classes. The Japanese teacher kindly taught me the basics of Japanese. Also, she told me many stories about what happened during her stay in Japan. I have dreamed that I want to be a kind teacher. Meeting with the Japanese teacher became a crucial opportunity for me to choose Japanese literature and Japanese language majors. Through the exchange student system at Mokpo National University, I can study at the University of Kobe for a year.
I want to accomplish three goals through studying in japan. First is improving Japanese ability. I think there is a limit in Japanese learning in Korea. I want to improve conversation skills through dialogue with local people in Japan. Of course, I will not neglect studying vocabulary and grammar.
Second, I want to experience Japanese traditional culture. I will experience the traditional Japanese culture. I want to see Japanese traditional performances such as Manzai, Rakugo and kabuki. Also, I want to participate in the local festival of Matsuri in Japan and interact with the residents of Kobe. Through this experience, I want to abase my prejudices and learn various values.
Lastly, I would like to lay out the foundation for graduation thesis. In particular, the excellent faculty of Kobe University will help me greatly. Also, it is a great advantage to have a large library of books owned by Kobe University.
When I first arrived in Japan, I felt like crying. The simple tasks were not solved easily due to communication problems and it was hard to decide which courses to take. It was the teachers and tutors at Kobe University that helped deal with this problem. I could determine which classes to take by explaining my present situation and consulting them. They also provided solutions to problems in daily life, including questions about learning. It helped me adapt a lot to living in another country.
After three months of adjustment, I began to see the good things about Japan. Kobe is a port city that is clean and has a beautiful night view. My dorm was located on the middle of a mountain so I could see this beautiful night view every night.
Another attraction of Kobe life is the ability to learn the dialect of Kansai region. Kansai dialect is used by almost all the citizens of Kobe. However, this dialect differs slightly from standard language, intonation, and words. When I first came to Kobe, I heard dialect and was very embarrassed because it was different from the Japanese I studied. Mentoring sessions at Kobe University allowed me to learn about the Kansai dialect, and now I have become somewhat familiar with it. Even I found Kansai dialect attractive. Recently, speaking the Kansai dialect fluently became one of my wishes. If I had gone to other places in Japan, maybe I would have never known about this attraction.
Japanese writing lessons at Kobe University for foreign students were very helpful. The class taught me the form of writing an essay in Japanese, and the expression that should not be written.
The final goal of the class is to write a dissertation on a Japanese subject. When I first wrote it, I was at a loss what to do with the topic. However, with the help of my teacher and Kobe University students, I was able to write a dissertation based on the results of the survey. In the future, I plan to write a dissertation using what I learned in this class when I write a paper in Japanese.
After one semester in Japan, I am spending spring vacation. I plan to travel several parts of Japan that I have not been to during this spring vacation. Also, I want to take more undergraduate courses with Japanese students next semester.
What is the most important thing when learning a language?
Before coming to study abroad, I thought it was most important to know many words and grammar when learning a language. I changed my mind after studying abroad for 11 months. Of course, it is important to study words and grammar but I think understanding the culture and environment of people who speak languages is more important.
In that sense, I think it is important to study abroad. In fact, I was able to strengthen my weak language skills in Japan. In addition, through communicating with Japanese people, I was able to learn a lot about the country and people of Japan.
I improved my grammar and writing skills through classes at Kobe University Center for International Education. Also, I was able to develop my vocabulary and reading habits through Japanese reading classes.
Through classes offered by the Faculty of Letters, I could learn modern Japanese grammar and how to teach it. I read medieval literature about Japanese history through literature class. This class taught me how to understand historical events from both a main point of view and secondary points of view.
Teachers at Kobe University had a passion for learning. They also did their best to teach students. I was honored to study under these teachers. Thanks to my teachers, I learned not only basic knowledge about learning, but also the mindset that I can have as an educator.
My experience at Kobe University was not only helped to develop my knowledge but it was also a great opportunity to learn how to be a Japanese teacher. I will go back to Korea, graduate from college, and go to a Japanese education graduate school. To be a Japanese teacher, you have to get the necessary qualifications. I also want to study more about effective teaching methods. If I become a teacher after finishing this course, I would like to teach Korean students the charm of the Japanese language as well as Japanese culture.