The time which I spent in the United States was so wonderful. I learned a lot of things there. Originally, the reason why I took part in this program was that I wanted to know the United States, and I wanted to think about the differences between the United States and Japan. Of course, this program gave me a lot of opportunities of thinking about these differences. On the other hand, it also changed my images of the United States.
As I mentioned, after I went to the United States, my perception of it changed. Before I went there, I regarded the United States as the country which was confusion. I thought that there were many people who had their own backgrounds, such as black people and white people. And when I was a high school student, I learned that that America was sometimes called a melting pot of races or a salad bowl. However, after I went there, I thought that the United States was the country where people lived in harmony with each other, even if they had different backgrounds. During this program, I had a lot of opportunities to think about races in the United States, such as in the lectures, the discussion of dialogue class, the field trip to Hampton University, and so on. Through these time, I learned that there were many histories of races in the United States. And I saw the daily lives in which people with different backgrounds lived in the same community. So, I thought that the United States was not the country which was confusion, but the country where people lived in harmony with each other in the same community.
In Japan, we usually don’t think about races very much. Needless to say, there are many races in Japan, for example the Ainu. However, the appearance of people with different backgrounds is very similar to other Japanese people. And nowadays they speak standard Japanese fluently. So, some Japanese people mistake Japan as a racially homogeneous nation. However, I think this recognition is incorrect, and it should be changed. Before this program, I didn’t think about races very much as other Japanese people. But after this program, I often think about races in Japan. That is because the experience and learning in the United States taught me that understanding different races and their history was important. The understanding means respecting them as people in the United States doing. So, we should think about it more carefully. I hope that the day will come when nobody mistakes Japan as a racially homogeneous nation.
I was very glad to meet wonderful staffs, CIs and PAs! Thanks to them, every day in the United States was filled with happiness, prompts, and motivations. The two weeks which I spent with them was so dreamy. Through this program, I felt that I want to speak English more fluently, and I want to make myself understood in English more freely. So, these days, I study English very hard. I will not forget the memorable time in the United States!