Journal 5

I cannot believe that two weeks have passed since I left the United States. I felt that time I spent in the United States was like a dream. I visited the United States for the first time, so everything was new to me. I had thought of the United States as wide and liberal nation, and this image I had was true. The United States have a vast extent of land, and a scale of anything is very larger than that of Japan. It seems to me that people of the United States don’t care about where people came from or what their nationality are. This is because I have not had any trouble because of being Japanese during my stay in the United States. Most people accept various differences such as race, religion, personal background, etc. They live together beyond such differences. Although there are still discrimination or conflict in the United States, I felt that most people are tolerant and respect each other more than I had expected.

I learned some important things during my stay. First, we Japanese people need to be more interested in social problems. I attended lectures whose topics were various such as American history, race, religion, gender, etc. Through these lectures, I learned that there are many social problems that is difficult to solve. However I felt that many American people or politicians deal with them. This is because in dialogue class I learned that these problems are cultural and political in the United States, so a lot of American people tend to connect their attitude to them with their political thought. In Japan, we often separate them from politics. Therefore only people concerned are interested in them. Most people don’t know well what the problem point is or what to do to solve them. I think that even though the Japanese government is trying to solve them, it doesn’t make sense unless people try to deal them. That is why, we Japanese need to be more interested in social problems.

Second, it is important to acquire wide range of knowledge. In dialogue class, we compare the United States with Japan on the basis of the lecture we listened to. However, I could not talk about Japan well. Although I learned various things concerning the United States, I don’t have a deep knowledge of Japan. In an increasingly globalized world, we have to become acquainted with not only foreign countries but also Japan. This is why, I came to want to learn about Japan from various points of view after this program.

Third, the most important thing I have learned is that there is a need to have opinion and make a comment. During the dialogue class, I couldn’t say something because I didn’t have abundant knowledge and so didn’t have my own opinion. However, other students remarked during the class even though their opinion was not necessarily excellent. Of course it is essential to acquire deep and broad knowledge in order to form logical opinion, but it is more important to state your opinion even if it is shallow. I felt that I should not hesitate to say something during the class.

Finally through this program, I learned these three important things and recognized what I can do and what I cannot do. Also I could look at Japan objectively by leaving Japan and recognized that I love Japan. I came to want to know more about Japan and decided to work for Japan in the future. Of course I want to continue studying English and visit many foreign countries I have never been to. I gained a lot of things during this program. I had a great experience in the United States, so I want to say thank you to everyone who took part in this program.

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