Though I learned a lot of things during the program, the most important thing I learned was communicating with various kinds of people is really wonderful and useful. Through the program, I have many opportunities to talk with PAs, CIs and other Keio students. First of all, my PA Kate who was a very kind and intellectual person was the same age as me, so I had an affinity with her. As soon as we met, we kicked it and talked a lot from silly to serious. Although we are in the same generation and go to university as a sophomore, how to spend a campus life is completely different between her (American students) and me (Japanese students). Most of Japanese sophomore students including me took about ten classes in one semester. Actually I took 11 classes in the spring semester. And most of the classes are graded by an exam or a paper that was imposed at the end of the semester, so we need to review the content of the lecture just before the exam or paper. The number of classes imposing regular quiz or attendance on students are very small. On the other hand, in the U.S., according to Kate, students generally take about four classes in one semester. It is very small compared with Japan. But almost all classes impose every-time reading task that students should read before a class, saying their own opinion in a class, writing several papers and several exams on students, so students have to study hard all the time during the class in order to take a credit. According to Kate, though she took five classes in last semester, it was very hard to deal with task of all classes, so she decided to take less classes next semester. When I listened to her, I was so surprised to know how hard-working American students are. And at the same time I felt how lazy Japanese students are. Thanks to her, I was very inspired to study hard and decided to study harder next semester. And we also talked about more informal things. Our focus group did a presentation about how different between Japanese Christmas day and American St. Valentine’s Day. We compared the two because both are a day when people spend with their significant others. When we made our presentation, we talked about mutual love situation. Though in our campus life in Japan, talking about love is most got livened up topic, that was the same even in other culture. We enjoyed listening to and speaking our love situation. And I felt that even though we live in different cultures, we can share and live up the same topic. This motivated me to talk to other William&Mary students and improve my English by talking about pleasant topic. In addition, CIs were also very intellectual and gave us very helpful lecture. Luckily, I had a lot of time speaking with my CI Leah. Thanks to her, I was able to get to be active and try to speak something in my dialogue class. And I could also meet and make friends with other Keio students who joined the program. They were all very kind and hard-working and really inspired me. After I came back to Japan, I will definitely reunite and continue to inspire each other.
There are a lot of things I’d still like to learn about the U.S. The lecture which was most inspired me to learn more was the lecture about racism, so I especially want to learn it deeply. In most Japanese universities including Keio university, we students have almost no opportunity to learn or discuss racism. I think that would be because in Japan, unlike in the U.S., most of the population are Japanese and we have few opportunities to feel racism in our daily life. On the other hand, in America, racism is one of the most serious problem through its history. As we can know from the fact that Obama was elected the prime minister of the United States, which is the country where only 10％ of the population is black, racism is now declining in that country. However, regrettably, professor said that racism is still one of the most serious problem in America and it won’t completely disappear even in the future. Actually during our stay in the U.S., there was a clash between a white supremacism organization and an opposition faction in Virginia. And I also saw many homeless black people sleep in the park when I went to Washington D.C. Those were experiences that I really felt racism in the U.S. By the time I felt racism by myself in America, I had ever heard about it but I actually came to feel it I was shocked. And at the same time, I hoped that racism would disappear in the future. Though it is difficult that racism disappear completely, I think that there are several ways to promote a declining discrimination sense. One of the ways that our dialogue class though was education. I think that education is very important for people, because education makes core of people, so high-quality education should be delivered to all people. But today, unfortunately, not all people can receive enough education. To overcome such a serious situation, I would like to study more about discrimination including racism happening all over the world and education public administration. And in the future, I would like to provide as many people as possible with opportunities to receive high-quality education.