William & Mary and Keio Cross Cultural Collaboration program has come to an end. Two weeks passed in the blink of an eye, but I had a really great time with CIs, PAs and Keio students. I am so happy to be able to become acquainted with them. I was always supported and learned a lot of things from them. I appreciated what they have done for me from the bottom of my heart. I thank especially Mr. Slaby, Qiaoyue and Laura for their support. Thanks to them, I really enjoyed Dialogue class, Focus Group works, and my daily life. Everything is a memory that I will not forget for the rest of my life.
It was my first visit to the United States and the longest stay overseas so far. Through this program, I had a lot of precious experiences. These can only be experienced outside Japan so it was a good chance to think about U.S. and to reconsider Japan. In U.S., there are many things including the historical meaning such as Monuments, Memorials, Colonial Williamsburg and so on. I always felt the history of U.S. It was at one time a colony and there were slavery. There were also serious racial segregation (but this does not mean that the segregation vanished completely). I thought that U.S. has shorter history than other countries, but a lot of important things happened. One of the most impressive experiences is visiting to The National Archives Museum of the United States. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) preserves U.S. government records, manages the Presidential Libraries system, and publishes laws, regulations, Presidential, and other public documents. The museum is the main building. In this building, we could learn about the U.S. history with a lot of pictures and documents and it made us think. We could see the history of civil rights movement, women’s rights movements but I could hardly see the history of the wars. I deepened my understanding of my knowledge that learned though a lot of lectures. I thought that these histories affected various things in the United States and I thought that the main theme of this building is the Rights. Especially I was glad to see three America’s founding documents, Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights. U.S began from these documents so I think that these are one of the roots of U.S. U.S. is a nation which has diversity of race or religion or ethnic group or culture. Everyone has his own identity. That is especially why they accept and value diversity and the rights each other. Their own right is also protected by doing so it. In contrast, I also perceived I cannot say definitely the roots of Japanese. I don’t know when Japan began. Japan is not a multiracial nation and most Japanese have no religion, that is, Japan has less diversity than U.S. We seldom sense differences between ourselves and others in Japan and it is not until we compare with other countries that we become aware of our identity. Therefore I think Japanese are not good at accepting the many forms of differences and we have to expand our scope.
Though this program, I learned a lot of important things. There are people of various values and views of life, I am still inexperienced, almost things will come round so I should challenge myself to anything and so on. Everything like the experiences and feelings I had during those periods expanded my horizons and these are great asset to my life. At the same time, I can strongly feel the importance of English and understanding other cultures so I want to put these experiences to use in my study and life from now on. I thank all of the people who have been involved with me from the bottom of my heart. I wanted to spend more time with them and I hope to see them all again.