English Language Program
There are numerous people in the world today who can speak English. As I do not excel in anything, I was afraid that I would have trouble finding a job in the future if I could only speak English to some extent. I was leading a mediocre university life, but I decided that if the university was recruiting international students, I would do something I might never experience again in my life, and it would give me a chance to rethink my thinking and way of life. There are two main reasons for studying abroad. The first is to improve my English skills. Second is to experience various things and develop myself. There are still many things I don’t understand at all, but I hope that by the time I return to Japan, I will have grown as much as possible.
Do you think English will be useful in the future? I began to think that my English skills were not good enough around the first year of junior high school. When I became a junior high school student and had to communicate in English, I felt very miserable because I could not speak fluently. The reason why I feel so bad is because I had lived in Hong Kong and had daily conversations in English, but when I came back to Japan, I had no opportunities to speak English and my English skills quickly deteriorated and I could no longer speak it. Unlike other subjects, I studied English without giving up because I thought that studying a lot of vocabulary and grammar now would help me in the future. Until I entered college, I thought that if I studied English in college, I would surely be able to speak it fluently. However, I realized that the opposite was true and that I would have to work hard and study hard to speak English. There I decided that the only way to improve my English was to study abroad in the United States. I hoped to improve it and work in a trade-related field where I can communicate with foreign countries in the future.
Unlike in Japan, students are more aggressive and to do anything eagerly in the US. Since I was a child, I was influenced by other people’s opinions, and I did not express my own opinions and had no will of my own. When I was a freshman in college, I took a Global Study class, and Professor Gakiya’s words stuck with me. She had previously taught at an American university and was able to give us some specifics about the level of student participation and how advanced the education was at that time. In fact, most American students speak up and learn by themselves. Hearing that story, I felt miserable and wanted to go to the U.S. to take classes and gain that positive attitude. It has been about three months since I came to the U.S., and as I took classes with people from various countries, I felt firsthand that their positive attitude is different from that of Japanese students. I feel I have been growing by being stimulated every day. In addition to classes, I interact with local people by participating in events held by the university, which is also a good stimulus for me. For example, local students who are studying Japanese and we Japanese students have a chance to meet and talk with each other once a week. I am very grateful for this opportunity to learn about the U.S., and it is also a great way to study English. You can also travel around the U.S. to observe the national character and visit tourist attractions to experience other cultures. I believe that by interacting with many local people in this way and experiencing things that cannot be experienced in Japan, one can grow unknowingly.
I realize the only way to develop myself is to keep trying new things, but I am often disappointed by my lack of self-confidence. However, when I think back on the reasons for my decision to study abroad, I can see that I should not dwell on it and that I need to be more proactive and active. The important underlying question for me is: Why did I come to the U.S. to study? It was the negative thoughts inside me that keep saying the he wrong thing and make me feel embarrassed, and I worry about what other people think of me. I would like to adopt a more positive way of thinking. I also want to improve my English skills and become a person who can play an active role overseas. How much can I grow during this short period of studying abroad and how much time can I spend in a productive and fulfilling way? In my mind, studying abroad is one of the major decisions of my life, so I hope to spend each day of this important time without wasting it, and to grow as a person.