I have wanted to study abroad before. Because I want to, of course, improve my English skills and experience a variety of things by studying abroad. In the future, I would like to become an engineer who can be active in the world in the field of aerospace business such as JAXA. English is necessary for communication in such work. Therefore, I want to cultivate communication skills (especially listening and speaking skills) that I can use to express my opinions in English and get used to local culture through this program. And when I have been to some foreign countries, I realized that there were many things that I would not have experienced without going abroad. There are times when I do not know what to say when speaking in English quickly. Because when I am in Japan I do not have much of a chance to speak English, I can find out whether knowledge I know is correct or not and what part I should study more by talking with foreigners. And I have already had some English skills but I can learn a form of true English not written in textbooks. I read many sentences in English but I realized that I lacked English which we use in everyday life (for example; how to teach the way to destination) when I traveled to foreign countries. So, I try to talk to foreign people as much as I can which I can only do and experience by going abroad. Furthermore, this program contains Focus Group work and Dialogue groups, in which I must think and express my opinions actively. These are chances to not only learn English but also gain knowledge by using English. Today’s theme of Framework Lecture is the history of Williamsburg. I learned about this history only because I came to this university and I can interact by listening to the opinions and arguments of local people. In Williamsburg, while American people wanted to build something new, un-American people tried to maintain to keep buildings. Meanwhile in Japan, people (for example; in Kyoto and Nara) are trying to preserve the temple and the shrine. But, I have never heard that there are movements to break old buildings and create new ones. I thought like this. However, I have not been able to express my opinions in English yet. So, I’d like to speak first without fear of failure starting tomorrow. I would like to work hard so that I can acquire English knowledge and interact with local people.
On August 7, we learned about “Gender and Sexuality”. I knew the difference between gender and sexuality. “Gender” means behavioral and cultural sex and “sexuality” means biological sex. There are people whose sex has changed since surgery from a man to a woman (transgender) and people who are men but heart are women. Therefore, it is difficult for us to think about gender and sexuality. And LGBTQ rights were importance in USA before Japan. Compared to Japan, LGBTQ people tend not to hide that they are LGBTQ. I think that society with many people who are from various and different places in America is the cause. So, there are many opinions and people need to think about gender. However, recently people in LGBTQ have recognized in Japan. For example, on 05/11/2015, homosexual couples were officially recognized in Tokyo and “Partnership certificate” to recognize same-sex couples as marriage equivalent relations began to be issued. However, the documents are not legally binding and they do not recognize the same legal status as marriage. Japan is still a very conservative country.
On August 8, we learned race relations in America. It is difficult to compare because there are not so many races in Japan. So, I would like to write down what I felt. In America, I was surprised that Black people are only 13% of the American population. Speaking of racial issues in America, I thought it was a confrontation between white and black. But, unexpectedly, white people have considerable people compared to black people. I was totally surprised to hear that as many slaves the black people were brought to work at the American plantation. Through both lectures about “gender and sexuality” and “race”, I felt the Civil War was deeply involved both. After the Civil War, women have begun to treat like men equality and slavery was over.