Journal 5 Daiki Takatsuka

To begin with, I am very bored in Japan now, because two weeks in the United States was very very very exciting. So if possible, I would like to go back to America. I really miss you guys.

To be honest, before the programI thought American people were very self-assertive. But now I know this was wrong. American people are very kind. Let me tell you one story. “When I was waiting in line at a storean American woman told me to be careful pointing at my wallet.” I thought she was kind. Maybe in Japanpeople dont tell tourists from other countries to be careful. It is often said that Japanese people are kindbut I think American people are also kind.

In the United States, I learned much more things than I had expected.

The most important thing I learned in the United States is trying to use English even if I cant speak English fluently. English is languageso if I dont try to use itI can never improve it. To tell the truthat firstI couldnt understand what American people said because they spoke English at natural speed. And of courseI couldnt reply it. But I tried to communicate in English again and again. If I try to tell somethingpeople who are taking with me try to understand what I say. I listen to other peoples Englishand learn how to speakand use them next time. In this wayI reported many trials and errors. This made my English level improved. Dont be afraid of making mistakes. It is important to make a lot of mistakes if you want to learn English.” This is the most important thing I learned in the United States.

Then, I’ll write cultural observation of life in the United States.

First, there are various people in the United States. In Japanalmost all people are Japanese. But in Americapeople are not only Americanbut also from other countries all over the world. So there are a lot of chances to talk with people around the world. It is very refreshing for me.

Second, there is a custom of tipping in the U.S. It is very inspiring for me because tipping is not customary in Japan. Maybe price in Japan has already included the tip. So we don’t have to pay tip. But in America, we have to pay. 

Third, there are a lot of scooters like Bird or Rime in D.C. I rode it onceand went to the Japanese Embassy we visit in the morning that day. Scooter is very cool. I think anybody can use them easily. I would like to ride them in Japan. So now I decided to call the Governor of Tokyo and tell her to introduce them in Tokyo. (of course, just kidding)

Anyway, I had a very good time in the United States. This two weeks is really my treasure. Thank you for everything. Thank you for everyone.

p.s. I’m sorry for being late for publishing this journal.

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Journal 5, Taro Uemura

I had been to the United States many times before this exchange program, so it was not my first trip to America. However, this program gave me a lot of new experiences. Now let me talk about those precious things that I learned through this program. First, I found that it is not so difficult to speak English. Actually, I am not good at speaking English. I only can read English sentence which is not so complicated. Moreover, when I had been to America, I had tried to escape from speaking. Therefore, I really worried about my command of English. However, those melancoly were just utterly. Almost all the American people tried to understand my awkward Engilsh. When I went to restrant, I could not understand what the clerk said. So, I asked them so many times to repeat. However, they did not hesitate to repeat. Through this experience, I found that it is easier to comunicate with American people than I thought on account of their kindness. If I tried to comunicate what I want to say clearly and loudly, American people also tried to understand what I want to say, I think. I will not hesitate to comunicate with them, I swear.  Second, I could understand what the United States is.As I said, I had been to the U.S. many times before this program, but it was about at least 7 years ago, so I did not know what America is today. Moreover, the destination of my last trip to America is west side, therefore I did not know the condition of east side. So, I really wanted know that. Next,  I will talk about that. Before this program, I had watched TV and read books or newspaper to know America and the history of America. However, real condition was different from that. I knew that some American people don’t like president Donald Trump, but I did not think that it is open. However, it is open. When I went shopping in Richmond, I found products which said that “Please come back, Obama!”. Virginia is south side of America, so I thought that there are many supporter for Trump because I thought that south people is apt to be conservative. This question was solved by lecture. The professor said that African American people are more in south than north because of their enslaved. So in Virginia there are a lot of African American people too, and they support Obama and don’t like Trump. Next, I found that there was still a disparity between Europian American and African American. Both in Williamsburg and Washington DC, more black people engaged in manual labor than white people. For example, in Washington DC there were a lot of security guard, but almost all the guard were black people. Moreover, there were many homeless people in Washington DC, and almost all the homeless people were black people. This showed me the United States’ inequality between white and black. As discribe above, I could have a lot of precious experiences through this program, and know America a lot. Moreover, I could grow up through this program, I feel. I am very happy to participate in this program. I will never forget this summer. Thank you.

 

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journal5 Aiko Nagamine

I would like to write down about what I want to do and learned through this course to my future self. Not for someone but for myself because it is my journal.
And I have a hope to open this journal when I am missing what should I do or want to achieve while my schooldays.
First, I wanna write about how to improve my ability to speak English.
In conversation, the most important thing is to have feelings that I want to tell you this word from the bottom of my heart…in short, never give up.
For example, If you forgot the word “apple”, of course, you always know this word, what should you do?
During this course, I sometimes don’t feel like to talk about apple, so I changed my mind from apple to another new topic.
If you happened the problem like this, you should stop remembering the word and try to explain your image by a few sentences.
If you did this, the listener might say ” Maybe you want to say apple?”.

When you want to tell the thing but you can’t tell well, firstly, you should be calm and deep breathing in your mind.
It’s okay to take a roundabout route and take a long time, you should say synonym or related information.

I came to know through this summer short study program abroad, the work of telling is not related to speaking English good or bad.
If you want to speak English well, you should talk more and more.
Don’t be afraid of saying a word,
I think people who live in America could be generous to foreign country peoples.

Secondly, I want to write about the challenge which I have to resolve before studying abroad again,
When I took lectures in Williamsburg, I had difficulty in dealing with words written in slides and understanding professor’s English at the same time.
I hadn’t had this program in Japan, so I was surprised and considered how to solve the problem.
I think the time understanding meanings by listening should be reduced.
As concrete measures, focusing on listening by using TED talks,
I am thinking about why the Japanese couldn’t have understood lectures, although there were many summaries on slides written a few sentences, we have never heard lectures conducted in English and slides many times.

Last, I would like to write something I found after taking part in this course.
I have been thinking about what I want to be.
Sometimes people asked me what jobs do you want to do in the future, but every time I was asked, I always said I want to work in the hotel though I have no clear purpose to work and I didn’t have something I want to do in my life.

However, after I join in this course I could see my future job.
I want to work in a job that involves English because by using English and communicate with foreigners is very fun and I feel as if I could see the world that I have never seen.
And I want to tell foreigners attractions of Japan.
This is my impulse to study English.
I want to learn English more and more to study abroad.
Thanks to this course I could find the meanings of studying English, what I want to accomplish in my life. This is so important. Thank you.

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Miu Nishimura Journal5

Before I visited the US, I thought most people were unfriendly and I could not walk around by myself because of unsafety. When I was a freshman of Keio university, I learned colored people have been discriminated until now. Also I am female so I thought I would be discriminated because of sex. After I came to the US, I found discrimination surely existed. For example, Dr. Mel Ely said African-American or native American people have been discriminated. Moreover, they have been separated because of their poverty. Also, Dr. Liz Losh talked about digital feminism. Machines cannot classify black women as a female. It is true that colored people, especially colored women, suffer from discrimination in the US. While I stayed at Washington, I met some beggars. All of them were old, black people. As Dr. Mel Ely said, black people suffer from poverty. Though various social movements have caused and people have changed their thoughts of race, discrimination are still existing. Most Japanese people think there is no racism in Japan. Moreover, many people avoid talking about political or social issues. Thanks to this exchange program, I found racism is concerned with Japanese people. I have to consider racial discrimination close to me. But people who I met at supermarkets, cafeterias, or bus stops were so nice and friendly. And both Williamsburg and Washington were so safety that I could take a walk by myself. So unfriendliness or unsafety was preoccupation. I found that it was not enough to study foreign culture with books or Internet. To meet foreigners directly is so meaningful, I think.

I learned American culture in Smithsonian Museum let alone framework lectures or dialogue class. An exhibition most I was impressed was THE PRICE OF FREEDOM. It showed scars left from wars which happened in the US. In particular I was interested in the Civil War and WW2. I was impressed when I saw an original of the Emancipation Proclamation. I didn’t know Lincoln didn’t acknowledge the right of women, and native American. And I was interested in posters which were made during WW2. Some of them told people that Japanese people were mean. Besides some pictures criticized Japanese government. I was surprised at seeing them because I have not seen such things in Japan. These days many Japanese people discuss the right to express because some people made stop an exhibition. In this exhibition, you could see a statue of a “comfort woman” or pictures concerning with emperor. Some Japanese people argue that they don’t want to see them because they are too extreme and political. Political posters and pictures were uncommon for me, so that’s why I was astonished. Thanks to visiting this museum, I found the importance of the right to express and seeing Japanese history from different aspects. Needless to say, I should study today’s discrimination and prejudice, and I should study anti-Japanese feelings too. That’s why I am appreciate this program because it gave me an opportunity visiting Washington.

After I visited the US, I found the importance of removing preoccupation about foreign countries, and reconsidering Japan from different aspects, and I MUST study hard. I was interested in framework lectures and exhibitions in museums, but I didn’t have enough knowledge about these topics. So I didn’t completely understand what they told, and I regretted lacking of studying. Though I didn’t always participate in discussion, I could get a chance to be outgoing. I want to learn American history or culture, let alone English, much harder. Thank you for everything.

 

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Honoka Nakagawa journal5

I would like to talk about cultural observations of life in the United State. Because I visited the U.S. for the first time, all things I experienced and saw were new to me. During my stay in the U.S., I found the differences of culture between Japan and the U.S.

First, I was surprised that most people in the U.S. talk about own family and their work in self-introduction. In Japan, we often talk about my name, hometown or where we belong to when we introduce myself, but we don’t introduce my family. I thought people in the U.S. are open about their family. Second, eating habit in the U.S. was very different that in Japan. Food and drinks were very big. It was hard for me to eat all, but I could take rest food home when we ate out. Almost restaurant in Japan cannot take that home. I think that taking rest food home lead to decrease disposal of scraps and may become a solution to problems of waste or environment. So, I want Japan to introduce this system. Also, I was surprised that vegetables were scarce and there were many foods that contains too much sugar or fat. I realized Japanese food is very healthy and has rich kinds of cooking, then I missed Japanese food. So, I think Japanese food is the   culture that Japan is proud of. Third, work style in the U.S. were lax compared to Japan. When I went to the shop in the U.S., I thought that attitude of clerks was blunt. For example, the look on face, the way to give change and put goods in shopping bag. After I knew the service of other countries, I came to realize again how much great a customer service in Japan. In 2013, Japanese television journalist gave speech to the International Olympic Committee in Buenos Aires and the word of “OMOTENASHI” attracted attention all over the world. I thought this culture was not much great as that time. Now I understand how great culture OMOTENASHI by coming into contact with a different culture. I would many foreign people like to come to Japan and experience OMOTENASHI. Fourth, although this is no wonder, language is difference. Each language has various characteristic and I thought the characteristic bring the difference in character. Japanese has honorific expressions. This is used for seniors and bosses. So, I have an image that Japanese often are careful around them and passive toward their opinions. Actually, I’m poor at telling my opinion to other people, especially to my superiors and elders. In contrast, I had an image that people in the U.S. tell anybody frankly what they have in mind. In fact, American student activity told their opinions to instructors. I thought honorific expressions can show the respect, but sometimes create a barrier. Moreover, I discovered the fun of studying various languages.

 

Through two weeks of short-term overseas study, the most impressive thing I felt is that culture we think it is common is not common in other countries. And I thought each common thing is formed by each culture. I had an opportunity to think about Japanese culture and rediscover the good points of Japan, so I thought understanding culture of other countries lead to face culture of our country. As what I found and experienced was only a small part of American culture, I want to stay in the U.S. again for a time and know more American culture. These two weeks are valuable thing to me, thank you for everyone!

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Azusa Murata journal5

I could experience the culture of the United States and learn many things of the United States. I’m going write about what I learned during this program of W&M. I have two things which I learned during this program. First, it is important not hesitate to speak in English. Because I had fear of not conveying my English, I was shy to speak in English and could not speak in English positively. But I could know that it was important to shallow my pride and tried to speak in English positively. Though the grammar of English is not perfect, strangely English can be convey. English that I thought not good was more conveyed than I had thought. The attitude to try to communicate in English is important. Since I noticed the important thing about speaking in English, I tried to speak in English positively. So, I still can’t speak English perfectly, but I could become to speak in English more positively than before. Second, there are differences between many kinds of culture of the United States and Japan. I especially feel difference between eating habits in the two weeks. On the whole the sides of food and drink of the United States were bigger than those of Japan. For examples, the sides of drink of all restaurants were bigger than that of Japan. I was surprised at the sides of glasses and cups when I went to a restaurant in the United States for the first time. At first, the volume of drink of the United States was very large for me, so I could not drink to the bottom of the glasses and cups. But I became inured to the volume of drink and could become to drink to the bottom of the glasses and cups in the two weeks. And the sides of salad were very memorable. In Japan, salad is small because set meals often include salad. On the other hand, in the United States, set meals often don’t include salad. When I want to eat salad at a restaurant, there was not any salad which was a perfect fit for me, so I was very confused. I thought that there was the difference between views of salad of people of the United States and Japan. Japanese people tend to think that salad is only an appetizer. On the other hand, Americans may tend to think salad is not only an appetizer but also a main meal.

In this program, lectures and journals were difficult and for me. But I thought that I could improve my English skill and I want to study and speak English more for the future by listening lectures and doing journals. Also, I could make many friends with not only Americans but also Japanese people during this program. In everyday life, I don’t have the opportunity to make friends with foreigners, so I’m glad to make friends with Americans. Also, I’m glad to make friends with Japanese people who I have never seen and I could not be going to know each other in everyday life. The experiences that I did during this program were valuable for me. I want to put my experiences of this program to use for the future not to finish only just good memories Thank you for everything.

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Journal5 Manai Suzuki

First of all, this was my first time to go to the United States and I was excited but little nervous. However, I had a very great time and get various kinds of new experiences in my stay at the United States that I can’t forget forever, so I miss everyone I met and everywhere I went to. It was only 15 days, but I could learn and feel American culture and lifestyle by myself. The college of William and Mary had a lot of nature, this was my first time to see wild squirrels and they were so cute. Also there are many clean and beautiful facilities like library, it has a lot of books and open area.So one day, I want to go back and study at there. The atmosphere at Williamsburg fit for me, then I could stay feeling comfortable like my home town. 

Before I go to the United States, I had some images that the foods, cars and supermarkets in the United States are huger than them of Japan and foods are very junkie. I think this image is almost correct, because most of the products and foods like sandwiches, salads or pizzas which sold at the supermarkets or served at the restaurants were big and many of them seemed very high calorie like using cheese and meats. Also in my image, American people are very friendly and kind, and that was also true. I thought that most of native English speakers listened my English carefully and when they couldn’t understand me, they ask me to say one more time, so I could know which pronunciation or grammar weren’t correct easily and clearly and make it correct. In addition, when we went to campus tour and take pictures, most of people took picture with us friendly. In Japan, people are shy and vigilant, so I think most of people may not take picture with people who don’t know.

According to the focus group presentation and dialogue class discussions, I thought that I should have more aggressiveness at the conversation, and I also need the sprit of inquiry. Some time I couldn’t participate in the discussion because I thought I don’t want to make mistake, but if I make mistake, someone told me and I can know new things so it is more beneficial. This is the reason why I thought it is important. The frame work lecture which I was most interested in was about the American pop culture. In the future, I want to enter the TV station, so I like watching TV and searching about the pop culture of some countries. There were the picture of Japanese TV talent painted their face black and smiling. I thought that there is almost any race problem in Japan, so they thought it is funny and did on the public radio waves. It wouldn’t be problem in Japan, but in the other countries it may be the problem. Then we have to become more careful about the program which is about race problem or things which make people discomfort.

In my free time, I went to a lot of place with my friends. It is also my precious memories. I have only seen White House and  on the TV, so I was very excited and had a great time during free time. It was my first time to watch baseball game, so I can’t compare with Japanese one but it was very fun and there has many performances which makes us not boring.

In Japan, government is changing the system of the English entering exam to the college few years ago. However, I think that change isn’t good because most of Japanese school teach English in terms of grammar. Then I think most of students who started  studying English at their junior high school can’t get useful English speaking and listening ability. When I went to America, I thought we should use English actively and make our English practical.

I went to United States and get a lot of unforgettable experiences, and found something I should study more, so I want to improve my English ability in Japan, then in the future, I want to go to the United States with more knowledge and English speaking ability!

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Fumiho Tanaka Journal5

I had a precious experience at the College of William and Mary this summer. I found many things about the culture of Williamsburg and Washington D.C. by seeing it my own eyes. I was not surprised by the cultural differences between Japan and the U.S. because I used to live in New York when I was a high school student. But still I was impressed by the size of everything in the U.S. as I got used to the Japanese one after a while. I loved how they satisfied me whatever I ordered because they were so big and tasted good. I kind of regret that I should have bought more snacks at Trader Joe’s and CVS even though my luggage was pretty full. The two weeks in the U.S. made me love the food life of American people again, and I wish there were Chipotle, Panera Bread and Buffalo Wild Wings in Japan.

Also, I learnt a lot of things about American culture and history through the lectures and I think that now I understand more about the U.S. One thing that I was surprised during the stay in Virginia was that there were many colored people than I expected. All the people in the Zion Baptist Church that I visited were black and it was the scene that I had never seen. Moreover, most people in the Richmond Library where I took the lecture of American racism were black, and the teacher asked us what percentage the black people account for in the U.S. I was very surprised by the answer that they account for only 12%, as I was expecting it was something like 30-40%. In the place called Westchester where I used to live in New York, there were many white people, so I felt that the race in the U.S. depends on the region.

Beside the lecture, another thing I learnt was that people in Williamsburg were kind and amiable. What I thought about people in New York was that they were busy and hurrying. Also in Tokyo where I live now, there are a lot of people to the extremely tiny area. So it’s always crowded in the cities and especially the train during the commuting hours is exhausting. People only communicate to a minimum in the store, and sometimes they don’t even make eye contact with staff. But in Williamsburg, I enjoyed talking with the local people. There were a lot of families with babies and old people, so I felt that the place was warm and happy. I could forget about the bad things of the urban life during the stay in Williamsburg.

Overall, I realized that I really do like the U.S. and thought someday I would like to live somewhere in the U.S. again. I did not feel very thankful and how lucky I was when I lived in New York as I moved to the U.S. because my father was transferred for his job. But after coming back to Japan, I started missing the life in the U.S. Then I found this program and asked my parents for permission by myself, and I had a wonderful time in Williamsburg and Washington D.C. In the future, I want to become a woman that can work all around the world and come to the U.S. for job and live there. As I am a junior student at the university, I was worried about staying in the foreign country this summer because I needed to do the job searching. But I am very happy to be part of this program because this experience made me think about myself and what I want to do in the future. I am already missing Williamsburg and all the people I met, but I would like to use this experience and keep thinking about my identity and job in the future.

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jounal5 Yuka Kawashima

The 16 days I spent in America seemed short, but I could have a very strong experience.

I learned a lot about cultural difference between Japan and America. Of course, I was able to learn these from many lectures we took part in. However I also learned a lot from my daily life in America. For example, the custom of chips, the glass of water reserved in restaurants are unusually large compared to Japan, the number of channels on American TV programs are much more than that of Japan and so on. It was good to learn about cultural differences not only by learning in words but also by actually feeling the atmosphere.

One of the most memorable events in program is the church visit. I have never been to church because I am not a Christian. So when I went to church for the first time, I thought would it be accepted us, not American, to visit church and attend a morning service. But I was very impressed by the kindness of Christians. Many people in there accept us and treat us very kindly.

The W&M student who supported my focus group was Roger, so I have a strong impression of him. When I saw him communicating fluently with Americans, even though he did not grow up in America, I was very surprised and thought that I had to study English harder. I strongly want to be able to speak English.

We are taught to write literally correct English in Japanese school, but what I have learned in America is the importance of trying to communicate with even in a word or a lot of gestures. I often face the situation the conversation ends while I was thinking the correct sentence in my head.  I also very keenly aware of the passiveness of the Japanese students when they were asked to speak in lecture, and the assertiveness of the W&M students when asked to speak. I wonder why there are so big difference. So, of course, I became interested in American culture. And I want to study American politics in Keio university, but I was also interested in the difference in education from elementary school. I would like to know what kind of educational differences form people differently between Japan and the United States.

What I learned in the lecture is that the Japanese are insensitive to discrimination about skin color because there are no difference in skin color in Japan, and discrimination against women and racism are very difficult to solve.

It was difficult to improve my English in two weeks, but I will never forget the time I was spend with my friends who can count on. I was impressed by the time I went to the World War 2 Memorial in Washington. In Japan, there are such monuments only in Hiroshima and Okinawa, and no monuments in Tokyo, so it was impressive.

It’s an honor to meet precious friends in my freshman year of college. I’d like to continue to do my best based on this summer’s experience. I can not thank you enough for all of your support

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5 koryu

The big difference I found during my program is the attitude of the clerks in the restaurants and clothes shops. In japan, clerks say the words taught by their boss to do so. So, I often ignore what the clerks are saying and do shopping by myself. In contrast in America, clerks say ” hello how are you doing” not because boss ordered them to behave so but because they want to take conversation with me. And not only the clerks but the customer were very kind to me. When I visit ice cream shop in America, I had no idea how to buy ice cream and which flavor tastes good. And I asked the customer who was standing behind me. Then he taught me the best flavor he liked. I wanted to say more Thank you to him. This is the first thing that is different from Japan to America.  

  In the lecture, I learned much about the pop culture and the terrible past about the discrimination of the black and women. In the terms of discrimination. I knew a little about the hard situation to live for the black, but through the lecture I could understand the detail and the background. I also could solve my question by asking to my CI. My opinion about the lecture is that taking the example from the things that we know in common makes the audience easy to understand the lecture. For example, Disney movie, which was taken in the lecture I got, and so on.   

 I wanted to take this idea to my next presentation. I say this thing because the lecture I remember now strongly is the one which used Disney movie`s characters as the example of the difference between the expression of looks of men and women. I could learn about the code from this example.  

 Through my FG works, I could also learn more about the discrimination of black. I searched about the difference of the way to go to school. At last, I discovered that the problem of discrimination had much influence on the rule about the school bus. It made me surprised, but the point is not this. In my group works, I found the process of searching is very important. I mean I could see much material about the American history that have no concerned with my topics. But those material were interesting to check. And after we finished making our slide, we make presentation in front of audience. I think listening to others` presentation and comparing to our topics had much meaning, because I could observe our own topic from different points.   

 Last, I want to share my opinion about the experience in Washington. I quickly recognized that the system of the city was different from that of Williamsburg. In Williamsburg, I felt cars are necessary for people who live there to move to go shopping and so on. But in Washington, I didn`t feel I couldn`t go anywhere if I don`t have car, because there are metro buses and trains. I used both. I had fun, but to be honest, Japanese public institution is better than American.   

  So, to say word, I love food and people in America better, but I prefer Japanese public institution, 

      

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