It was my first time to go abroad by myself when I was 16years old. I went to a language school and was youngest at the school. I was in 5 level class out of 6, which was no Japanese except me. One day, at a lunch time, my teacher said, ‘you are so good skill for your age. What is your plan after you graduate from your high school? How about going foreign college or something?’. This simple conversation made my filed of view expand and I started to think about going to another college as an exchange student. Luckily, I have some foreign friends and Japanese friends who entered college in America so my dream became more clearly.
I have been to so many countries before but I feel so excited about making new friends, environment, something like that. I don’t go to a language school at this time. It’s more high level, going to the evergreen state college and I will do the same things as local students. It will be hardworking for me to study with local students because English is not my mother language. My goal during stay in America is to get BA. I’m sure I face obstacles but I strive and overcome them.
There is a lot of nature at The Evergreen State College, which is located in Olympia, Washington. When it’s sunny, I go to the beach near the campus, hiking, and star watching at night. On campus, there are also animals like deer, rabbit, fox, squirrel and so on.
Especially, at The Evergreen State College, the distance between a faculty and a student is much closer than the other colleges in the U.S. and in Japan. I sometimes meet my teacher out of the class and send them text messages every day. Basically, class starts at 9 am and finishes at 4 pm, 3 days a week. We mainly discuss in the class based on reading assignments. You might think “You study 7-hour a day for one subject??”, but it goes by so fast!
Assignments are totally different from Japanese ones. For example, in the winter quarter, in a business class, “Talk to more than 10-people you don’t know and promote your ideas/products. Then, if someone is interested in your idea, ask his or her e-mail address.” I was surprised because I’ve never done this before.
As for dormitory life, I live with five girls. We do parties seasonally, study outside when it’s sunny and go interesting places around town. I have a good time every single day.
On my breaks, I usually go to other cities like Boston, NYC, Miami, and Vancouver. The difference in atmosphere between these places I mentioned earlier and Olympia has been the most interesting part of this experience.
I came back to Japan after I spent 10 months in America. My school life at the Evergreen State College was much harder than I expected and totally different from the University of Hyogo. I almost lost my heart so many times. There is an old saying that 「derukui ha utareru] in Japanese and 「The squeaky wheel gets grease」in English. You should raise your hand and tell your opinion in a class, otherwise, you miss your chances. I decided that “Say something in a class even if my English is wrong.” After that, you will feel a sense of fulfillment and have confidence.
After I came back to Japan, I will utilize communication and language skill I accumulate through this exchange program, at job-hunting and graduation thesis. I want to step up English skill more by augmenting opportunities to speak English.
Thanks to the scholarship of HUMAP, I could realize this exchange program. Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity. As for scholars, study harder but don’t forget your appreciation.