Through this short term study abroad program, I could get valuable experience. We couldn’t have got such a good experience if we were in Japan. I really appreciate the help I received from all staff of this program. Because of them, I have been able to spend happy time in the U.S.. I have never been to the main land of the U.S., so I was surprised by so many things. My first impression of America was that “everything is big”. It is bigger than I expected. I felt it in both Williamsburg and Washington D.C. The days I spent in Williamsburg are the most memorable days in this program, because I have never been to such a special city where we can feel a living history. I enjoyed this place which is complete different from where I have ever been to. It was a precious experience.
I have the objective why I select this short term study abroad program at William and Mary from a lot of similar program which Keio university recommends. The content of frame work lecture of this program is about American history and culture, which is what I want. I want to know people’s opinion on race, religious, political, history and so on. We can know incidents which happened in the U.S. through TV and newspaper written in Japanese even when we are in Japan. However, these coverages about an incident in the U.S. are based on Japanese general opinion, so we cannot understand completely the general opinion in the U.S. I think the evaluation of Donald Trump is good example. Mass medias of Japan have strong tendency to broadcast his speech in Republican National Convention so that a lot of people support fervently Donald Trump. I think that is because mass media try to make us feel a sense of danger. In fact, he is dangerous for the relationship between Japan and the U.S. Because of such a coverage, I thought a lot of American support him but when I talked to PA they frowned and I have never seen a person who supports him. This fact may be affected that people who I met in America have knowledge and interest about politics, but I was surprised at this fact.
Through the frame work lecture and dialogue class about religious, I felt the opinion about it is very different between Japan and the U.S.. Especially, the relation between politics and religion is huge difference point. In the frame work lecture about religious, the professor talked about Catholic and Protestant. In the same time, she mentioned that there is only one president who is Catholic. I am surprised at what she said. Japanese do not care of which religion a president or a prime minister has faith in. In fact, we do not know what religion past and current prime ministers of Japan have faith in. I felt politics and religion are closely related in the U.S.. I got impressed by the words which are “There is only one race. It is just a human. We often separate races by just geographic factor. It is a mistake.” in the dialogue class Khan who is CI of our dialogue class told us. Before she said that, she asked us “How many races are there in the world?”. I answered “it is uncountable” because I have fixed idea that there are so many races. In fact, in many frame work lectures, professor said that there are so many problems because there are many races. Therefore, her words are impressive for me.
My first visit of main land of the U.S was pleasant and good, but it includes bitter experience. I do not have enough ability of speaking and listening in English, so I could not tell full of what I think and feel. If I had these capabilities, I could make this studying abroad experience more meaningful. It is my only regret. From now on, I want to study English harder and want to go to study abroad next year in America.