Journal entry 5

Journal entry 5

Nanako Ohgo

For two weeks, I learned a lot of things in the United States with my CI, PA and groupmates. Most of the experience in the program was for the first time for me. I had much difficulties dealing with these things, but those things made me better.

Before the program, I had never been to the United States. I did not know about it well and I had just some image for it. For example, big land, fast food and the most sophisticated country in the world. However, some of the image changed during the program. I thought the United States has the greatest power in the world, so all the cities are also developed and sophisticated. I was really surprised when I arrived at William and Mary College in Williamsburg. There was much more nature than I expected. Actually, I only knew the urban cities like New York, San Francisco and Washington. Those cities have few nature and a lot of buildings and transportations like Tokyo which is the most familiar city for me. Unlike Japan, the United States has a lot of nature and huge land even though there are many people living there.

In addition, I would like to write about discrimination in the United States. Before going to America, I thought the discrimination had already perished in the United States. I learnt about it in history classes in Japan and I knew it is the biggest problem in the United States. In fact, the discrimination has still existed especially for black people. In the lecture of the program, we learnt about the strong relationship between poverty and discrimination for black people. I felt so strongly while staying in the United States. Most of the blue-collar jobs are done by black people there. I visited the National Gallery of Art in Washington. There were a lot of security guards and all of them were black. What is more, we often went to supermarkets during the stay and I found that most of the staff were black people. On the other hand, when we visited the American company and studied at the William and Mary college, many of the working people were white people. Blue-collar jobs have low salary and are not stable. White-collar jobs pay well and are safe. Racial discrimination exists in jobs. In Japan, only Japanese people live. Our skin, eyes and hair are same color. We cannot see and tell the difference between people directly. While in the United States, there are a lot of kinds of racisms. For example, American, Asian, Jewish, African and so on. People call it “melting pot”. I have not seen such a situation in Japan until now. However nowadays more and more foreign people are coming to Japan to find their jobs. Now we have to get along with them who have different racisms, religions, culture and languages from us. I believe we should learn a lot from the history and now of the United States.

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Shizuka Terui – Journal Entry 5

I already missing days I spend in America. It was so fun and valuable experience for me, so I would like to wright about things which I learned through this program.

The most important thing is to learn American culture. I had been to America only once before taking part in this program. The place I went was Hawaii. It was tourist spot; there were many Japanese tourists and Americans who can speak Japanese and know Japanese culture well, so I experienced real American culture almost for the first time through this program. The first thing is about food. I had many chance to eat hamburger. American regular size was too big for Japanese. American small size was same as Japanese regular size. Not only hamburger but also salad, pizza and sandwich size were big. Another example is vegan food. I had never known and of course never eaten vegan food the then before. I’m glad to eat vegan food and know about it. Another thing is to rules. In Japan, we always say “Itadakimasu” before eating. It means thanks for life of animals and plants. And we say “Gochisousamadesita” after eating meal. It means thanks for the nice meal. In addition, in Japan, we should not start eating before meals and people are all present. However, in the US, there are not customs like these. It is difference between Japan and US. These are food example but I found many other cultural differences between US and Japan. These were written in Journal 1~4.

The second important thing is that I got great experiences. I could go many important place such as Colonial Williamsburg, National Mall, Smithsonian Museums and so on. I could learn American histories by watching real place. Moreover, lectures were so interested. The US history is difference from Japanese history. In Japan, there are not race problem like Black American. I had not studied enough about America before, so lectures were effective for me. I recognized that there are many people around the world who have difference values and cultures. We must remember it and we must try to understand each other. I wish race problem will be solved and no more war will be happened.

Looking back American days, I think I could improve my listening skill through this program the most. By compareing myself before and after, it is more clearly to understand American saying. I want to keep and more improve my English skill, so I promise here I will study English more and keep going. To achieve this promise, I will get more vocabularies, watch English movies and listen English music. Actually, I listen English music more after getting back from US. And someday, I want to go to America again with enough English skills and talk with Native American a lot.

Finally, I want to say thank you again to Barry, Cahn, CIs and PAs. We must could not have great experience without your support. I will not forget this cross-cultural collaboration program’s memory. I strongly believe that this experience will useful in the future.

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Entry5

Through this Keio University/ College of William & Mary Cross-Cultural Collaboration Program, my way of thinking has greatly changed. Actually, I had never been to foreign countries before this program. I thought that America is so far from Japan, and these countries are very different. However, I found that this was not true. I felt that “it’s a small world” like that song.

Surely, it took half a day to fly from Tokyo to Washington D.C. The distance from Tokyo to D.C is 6,789 miles. Of course, language and culture are also different. (I been to U.S. to learn them…) However, the generous differences were smaller than I had expected.

For example, the difference between urban and countryside is same between two countries. In countryside, there are few people, buildings and shops. On the other hand, in urban the number of people, buildings or shops is large, and time flies more quickly than countryside. People who live in urban tend to think a lot about beauty and health trends, and there are some health-conscious restaurants. I realized these differences when I traveled domestically before and went abroad to U.S. this time. These features are seen in both Japan and U.S.

Moreover, from a point of view of social problem, I realized the common feature. In the lecture about discrimination, I learned that there are historical problem about discrimination to black people in U.S. Superficially, the discrimination has already gone, but in fact these problem still remains today. The same can be said of Japan. In Japan, there was a discrimination against Korean people and this also still remains today.

As the reason why the distance between countries is closing, the development of SNS can be considered. There are many tools which can connect person to person. For example, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook…etc. We can keep in touch no matter when no matter where, and we can know about what happens all over the world. Actually, when I been to U.S, I checked online news, Twitter or Instagram, so I know what happened in Japan while I was not in Japan.

Therefore “it’s a small world.” Before this program, I thought that the news or incident in foreign countries happen in the distance and they don’t concern me. However, my way of thinking has greatly changed. What happens int the world is not far from me and I have to concern about them.

Ms. Leah, a tutor of my dialog class, knows many things about events or problems in the world.  She knows not only about her own country, but also about Japan, or other countries. I want to become this kind of person like her. I want to keep studying English and want to get interested in world affairs.

Moreover, through this program, I can speak English without resistance. Before I joined this program, I thought that I had to speak perfect English, so it took a lot time to collect my ideas and speak English. However, I realized that this way of speaking was wrong. I learned that it is important to try to speak and express what I want to say. By studying English and trying to speak many times, speaking skills will gradually improve.

I will never forget what I learned through this program. I want to keep studying English.

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journal Entry5- Yumiko Azuma

Throughout this summer program I was able to gain a lot of skills not only the basic English skills, which are reading writing listening speaking, but also the presentation skills and communication skills. However , these are not as important as what I experienced in William and Mary university in Wiiliamsburg and in DC.

My perception of US did not really change before this program and the after. Since I have been to several places in USA for several times. It was almost the same I had expected in japan. Huge campus and interesting university students, cute local town. On the other hand, I found very interesting facts that is very different from japan and that is something that I wanted to experience throughout this program, finding differences and comparing USA and Japan.

One of the most important things that I learned in William and Mary University is of course from the lecture and the time in the dialogue classes.

We do not have classes on American history in any schools in japan. I have gotten the information about the American history, the cultures and the news through internet. So it was very nice and interesting to be able to have the classes and get to know deeper on the topics. And also, it was very nice to have the time in dialogue class. I was able to have time to think the topic again without just having the class and not thinking. Since we could actually make questions to the teachers that gave us the lectures, I was able to think what I did not understand and what I wanted to know deeper. In japan, we do not have opportunities to questions the teacher because we usually have only big classes. It was amazing for me to raise my hand and just ask whatever I want to know.

Other thing that I leaned and I took very serious was the way of thinking to the religion in USA. I found the religious in USA was vey important and people really take it serious. It was curious that they do not mind talking this topic a lot. There is the active conversation in USA. The situation is a lot different in Japan. We do not talk the topic at all. It is not because that we think it is taboo to talk about it but the religion is melting into the Japanese culture and they do not notice how important that is.

The last one that I found interesting comparing with Japan is about the FOOD. In DC, I found that there was long line at the salad store. People think it is important to be healthy. I kind of thought that was weird because they suddenly looked too obssesed to it. It was like that I mentioned the other journals, the way vegan food shaped like chickens is similar to the topic. Americans seem that they think about their food but the way is not appropriate. Japanese people are tend to  become opposite to american. we are becoming unhealthy. people are changing what to eat. fish to meat. healthy to unhealthy.

It is not what I could really compare to Japan, but I thought the racial problem was something that I should study and think more deeply. It was very curious to me that how there are slavery and how it affects the society in USA nowadays. And the problem could not be this interesting to me without my CI, Rayvynn. Thank you.

Over all, everything that I learned in USA was fantastic and I would never forget any my memories there !!

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Journal5

I learned that not being afraid to take communication is important . Communication can be made to relax the opponent. If there are people having troubles, we should talk to them as much as possible. I feel American people think it is natural. I was surprised that many American people helped me when I had troubles. I feel the people in Tokyo don’t speak strange people as much as possible. In my class of Keio University, a professor said this phenomenon is often seen in urban city. I thought when I have troubles in Washington D.C, no one will help me. But when I couldn’t understand the way to pay by automatic accounting, the customer came and taught me how to pay. When our room’s door kept open, a woman knocked our room’s door and said to me “The door is open. Be careful.” She probably thought that we leave the door open is dangerous. She warned me. If there are people having troubles, we should talk to them as much as possible. American people think it is natural. I want to take the communications without fear even after returning Japan.

I think chip system is related to positive communication in America. The shop staff work more voluntarily to get chip. I did not understand advantage of chip system before coming to America but now I think this system promotes shop staff to work and help customer positively.

The thing I would still like to learn about US is relation of obesity rate and poverty. I noticed there are more poor people and homeless people than I expected in Washington. There are homeless people in every station in Washington. In Japan, I hardly ever see homeless people in stations. I found that in America, many homeless people and poor people tend to be fat. I thought poor people tend to be thin due to lack of food. But it seems different. I think there are a few reasons of this tendency.

First, in American restaurant food is low price though it is a large amount. We can eat massive food with low price. But many cheap fast food is oily. Expensive food is small in volume but healthy and not oily. Therefore I think poor people in America tend to be fat. I think this phenomenon is also related crop of the United States. The United States has a higher food self-sufficiency rate, unlike Japan. So, many restaurants supply low price and massive food.

Second, the rich people can spend much money to exercise and low calorie food than poor people. Wealthy people can go to gym and eat expensive healthy food. They more focus on quality of food than quantity without worrying about price.

I think there are many other reasons why poor people tend to be fat. I would still like to learn about this problem in Japan. Fast food plays an important role in America. The influence of fast food is also expanding in Japan. But not everyone can eat healthy high price food every day. I hope the quality of low price food be improved .

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Journal 5

This program was so exciting and I learned and experienced a lot of things, but the most important experience is that I touched cultures and histories of the United States. The purpose I joined this Cross-Cultural Collaboration Program is to understand other cultures and its background. I think everything has its own background and history. For example, todays American race problem is deeply involved with history of the United States. By understanding culture of other people, we can also understand their history. In the lectures, I learned many American cultures and its histories, so I was so excited. I also had many valuable experiences.

When I went to York River, I got lost and realized the largeness of the United States. It was very vast wetland so I learned that Virginia has wet climate. There were so many crabs and beautiful nature. I wondered that there are so many natural areas in Virginia because before the trip I thought that eastern coast of the United States has long history so it has been developed completely.

In another free day, I went to art museum. It was so big museum and there were so many pictures and statures. I surprised that there were art of all over the world and all periods. It is amazing that one state has so many valuable art. In Japan, one prefecture has art far less than that of Virginia. I am jealous because museums in the United States are so fulfilling.

Walking tour of Colonial Williamsburg was interesting. I saw many historical buildings in there. Last day I went to Kyoto for trip and I saw many Japanese traditional architectures such as shrines or temples, so it was interesting to compare old buildings of each countries. One big difference between the United States and Japan is that in the United States, whole town is preserved as old condition but in Japan only sacred place or historically important building are maintained as old style, and almost all of buildings in the city are rebuilt as modern style. This awareness may be not clear because I have seen only Williamsburg and Washington D.C., but I think there are some reasons. Firstly, most American historical buildings are made of stones, so it is easy to preserve whereas Japanese counterparts are made of woods so sometimes lost by fires or earthquakes. Also there may be difference of the consciousness of protection of cultural properties. I want to know someday.

Smithsonian museums were so exciting for me because I like nature and history. The most impressive museum was National Museum of the American Indian. I saw the exhibition about history, culture, and current life of native Americans. I understood their interesting traditions and painful history. I think the movement that tell people about not only brilliant history of the United States but also people who struggled in it is admirable. Japanese government should learn from this.

In this program, I learned and experienced a lot and interacted with many people. I will not forget this summer. I would like to show my appreciation to everyone who joined this program.

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Mayu Nukiwa-Journal Entry 5

Firstly, I would like to express how my perception of US changed before and after the program. In short, I found that US has more diversities than I expected. Though I have been to San Jose and I knew US has diversities, I discovered more through visiting Williamsburg and Washington D.C. and spending time in the university with students there. In US, there are different cities and people, I think. Of course, it is true that there are different cities and people also in Japan, but there are more diversities in US than in Japan, I think. For example, I feel like visiting different countries when I visit San Jose, Williamsburg and Washington D.C. San Jose is famous for the Silicon Valley, Williamsburg has rich nature and Washington D.C. is famous for being the center of the politics. On the other hand, though there are regional differences in Japan, Tokyo is the center of almost all of the things and other areas are thought by being connected with Tokyo, I think. In addition, there are different people especially in the university, I think. Each people who I met have different origins in US. As you know, in Japan, there are people like Ainu, but the number of people like that are few and almost all of people in Japan are “Japanese”. In this way, there are more diversities in US than in Japan, I think.

Secondly, I want to write about attainments of my goals. In the first journal, as you know, I wrote that “I want to talk with students at William and Mary University” and “I want to learn English more than I could in Japan”. To the first goal, I should have done my best. Though I have not studied abroad and I’m not good at speaking English, I was too nervous about talking with students in English. In this program, everyone didn’t speak English perfectly, but even if not perfectly, the will to tell something to others is the most important thing, I found. If someone has the will to tell something to others, he or she choose the way which is easy to understand for others and the persons who listen to him or her are encouraged to listen more eagerly. If I have the opportunities like this program, I would like to do my best to talk with students in US. To the second goal, I could get valuable experiences which could be acquired only through the chances like this program. For example, as you know, we didn’t know the meaning of air quotes because we don’t have much opportunity to see the gesture in Japan. In addition, we could get the knowledge about when to use the words through the presentation preparations and journals. For, we sometimes use the similar words as the same in Japan even though they have different meanings for you. In this way, even though I have many things to reflect on, at the same time, I could get a lot of valuable experiences, I think.

Thank you.

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Journal Entry 5 – Mone Iwata

This program is the first time to study abroad for me, so before leaving Japan I was a little nervous. But, I really enjoyed this program. I had new friends and I can learn many things.

I think the most important thing I learned in the US is that it is important and difficult to do something aggressively. In Japan, students listen to the lectures by professors in most classes, so we rarely discuss our opinions about lectures. On the other hand, in this program, after students listen to the lectures by professors, we discuss our opinions about the topics. At first, I couldn’t tell the class members my own opinions because I was not good at speaking in class. However, I was gradually accustomed to the form of the class, so I could speak my opinions in class more than first. I think this is the part where I grew the most in this program. It is the experience that we can’t do in Japan

One of the biggest events for me is focus group presentation. Before this program, I was not good at presentation because I don’t know the way to prepare. Until joining this program, I made PowerPoint slides before deciding thesis statement and making script. However, after I made a presentation in this program, I began to think it may be wrong because in this way I can’t plan presentations at the first stage. The most important thing to make easy presentations for audience is logical from introduction to conclusion. For this purpose, I think the presenters should first assume the conclusion of the topic, investigate details and make a presentation logically toward the conclusion. I learned this fact through focus group work and presentation.

In the free time, I enjoyed American culture very much! Especially, in the food-related culture I felt the difference between Japan and the US. I ate many American food such as hamburgers, sandwiches. I was surprised that the amount of meals was larger than that of Japan all at the first time. American food was very delicious, but I can’t eat up because it is large for me. In Japan, there are not many dishes with high volume in general restaurants. Also, ‘tips’, the American unique custom, is very difficult culture for me. I went to Hawaii with my family last summer, so I knew that custom. However, for several days after arriving in the US, I didn’t know what to do at the time of checking out. I heard that in the US, the minimum labor wage is low, and the employees can’t live without tips income, so the tips custom exists. I think this custom is very good system because it will lead the motivation for their own work. To be honest, I felt a little envious of this ‘tips’ culture. In this way, I felt the difference between Japan and the US from various parts, and I could find many good points of Japan and the US.

This program is very good experience for me, and it is an important experience I can’t forget. Thank you very much.

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Jounal entry5, Kanae Yamaguchi

*how your perception of the US changed before and after the program
Before I visited the US, I hadn’t had much opportunities to talk with American people. I had thought that the people in the US were cautious as America is the gun-toting society. But after I joined this program and had much opportunities to have communication with “American people” (I mean people living in the US), I realize that the situation was quite opposite. The staff in restaurants were very kind and the customers in hotels greeted us in a very friendly way. And of course, the staff of this program was truly nice and supported us with ardor.
Furthermore, American people are not only nice and kind but also very frank and not so sensitive to personal data, compared to Japanese people. For example, almost all American hamburger shops or restaurants in which we order food or drink at their counter ask customers’ name. But this hardly happens in Japan in order to protect customers’ personal data. I think American society is more open than Japanese society because America has much more kind of people than Japan. As we learned through this program, there are so many kinds of people in America, such as “white” people, African American people, native American people, immigrants from Mexico, Europe, Asian countries and so on. I think therefore American must expose their own data to some extent and make effort to get along well with each other.

*most important things you learned
Through this program, I learned a lot of things which are very useful for my current life and my future career. It’s so difficult to choose one, so let me talk about two lessons: having courage to be positive and improving language skills.
First is about having courage to be positive. In this program there were a lot of opportunities to have communication with American members and Japanese members such as dialogue class, focus group work, and free time activities. Because I was not good at express my own opinion clearly even in Japan, I tried hard to communicate with people. This is one method to have communication easily with others, which I read in books: first listen to other persons’ opinion carefully, think hard to understand what they are thinking, and then express my opinion. This was successful because by understand people’s opinion, I was able to organize my thoughts and be more positive to express my opinion. And I realized that once I said something everyone responded to me and conversation continued. Through this experience I found that being positive to listen to others and express one’s opinion leads to the good communication.
Second is about improving my language skills. As I mentioned, listening to others and express one’s opinion make it possible to have good communication. But both “listening” and “speaking” need language skills. Through this program I had a lot of situation where I couldn’t say what I want to say because of my vocabulary shortage and used other expressions or body language. I found that I must build up my language skills to make others understand what I want to tell.

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Journal Entry 5- Hiroki Iizuka

Before the program, I had never been to the U.S. and it was the first time for me to visit, so I was happy to visit to the U.S. I’d like to write about what I noticed in the U.S., in short, that is the difference between Japan and the U.S. What I was surprised at in the U.S.  was that people frequently greeted and communicated with strangers each other. I realized that people I the U.S. tend to talk to strangers more actively than people in Japan. I was greeted by foreigners who I didn’t know many times, for example, in clothing shops and on the hallway of the hotel. In clothing shops, as soon as I entered the shops I was spoken to by a salesperson. Of course, what they said were subtly different, but they said mostly same things. First, they greeted when we opened the entrance, and after that, they made sure whether customers need help of salesperson to find what customers want or not. I was surprised because in Japan salespersons don’t greet a customer as a salesperson in the U.S. when a customer enter the shop. Next, I was spoken to by those who I didn’t know on the hallway of the hotel. What I surprised was that they were not hotel staffs, but other customers of the hotel. They spoke to me when I crossed with them on the hallway, and they almost said “Hello”, “Hi” or “Good morning.” I noticed that this was a difference between Japan and the U.S. because customers don’t communicate with each other on the hallway of a hotel in Japan. I didn’t know that there is such a good custom in the U.S. before I actually experienced, but I felt that people in the U.S. is sociable and friendly.

As I said before, I had never been to other countries, so I worried whether I could have a conversation with people in the U.S. in English. In this program, I aimed to have a conversation with local people in English and improve my English proficiency. Thus, I tried to speak positively English throughout this program, but it didn’t go well and felt keenly that I significantly lack English ability. In short, local people didn’t smoothly understand what I said in English and I could not make themselves understand. I noticed that my English ability lacks explosive power, in a word, I cannot come up with what I want to say in English and I can’t say what I want to say. I think that the reason is because I can’t translate what I want to say from Japanese to English as soon as I come up with in Japanese. I realized that I have to train the ability of English composition in a moment. Thus, I would like to study English from now on and especially I‘d like to study English composition in a moment to be able to have a conversation smoothly in English in my future.

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