During and after this program, what changed my perception of America is about safety. Cities in America were safer than I expected. I heard that Chicago is one of the most dangerous cities in America. There were more people in Chicago than Williamsburg, but I didn’t feel that dangerous especially in the metro where someone told us to pay attention to others carefully. I thought we should not have prejudice before we experience something by ourselves.
Also, I assumed that Japanese people have much more consideration to others, but I noticed American people are also kind. For example, people in America often hold a door for others who will pass next. This culture cannot necessarily be seen in Japan. However, I felt that attitude of American clerks is worse than that of Japanese. Kindness of servers in restaurants might be thanks to tip, but in other cases, I thought general American people are more gentle than Japanese.
The main matter I learned in this program is the importance of languages. Although I could almost understand what people speak in English, I couldn’t express all of what I was thinking about. I couldn’t mostly help using conventional patterns of response. I wished I could have transmitted my thoughts in detail like in Japanese. I realized that in order to show others that I am a person who have much more firm and substantial ideas, a decent acquisition of the language is needed.
One of the PAs told me a story that in the era of what is called global society, it is pity that she doesn’t have an opportunity to learn the second language because she speaks a lingua franca, English. In spite of the fact, some of PAs speak other than their mother tongues very fluently. I respect them from this point and I want to keep practicing speaking English. At the same time, I was happy because I could talk about deep and profound topics with some PAs using a lot of means.
What I still want to learn is about the sense of equality in America. I know that “equality” has a great meaning in America as shown in the Declaration of Independence, and in some lectures in the college, there were topics about equality, such as women, Native Americans and Blacks. Although I felt that equality is richer in America than Japan during the dialog class, maybe there are still problems of inequality in America due to diverse society, and this is why the professors major in such topics and affairs. Even in CAs and PAs, many kinds of races were there. I want to learn how a lot of species think about inequality directly, not through the professors or scholars.
After staying in America for two weeks for the first time, from the perspective of American culture, I noticed that everything is larger than Japan. We took much more time and distance to move from one place to another especially in Virginia than we are in Japan. Also, the quantity of food served in restraint and seen in shops were lager than Japan. I heard that American people take care about their health recently, but the eating habits we experienced during this two weeks were what I had thought of as “America”. However, I was surprised that bringing back leftovers from meals home is common practice in America. Japan doesn’t have such a practice and even it is seen as rude. On the other hand in China, I heard that leaving food uneaten is polite and expresses respect for cooks. I thought such cultural differences are interesting, and I want to learn more.
I appreciate this summer short program and many staff not only because I could spend so exciting time, but also I could find interesting matters as I mentioned above. Then I want to keep join in such a program that support exchange students in Japan, and next time, I would like to show excellence, attractiveness, beauty and so on in Japan to them.