All events during the Keio/W&M Cross-Cultural Collaboration program were interesting and impressed for me. I learned a lot of things from them and I also found that some of my perception before the program were wrong.
First of all, I strongly felt the difference between America and Japan especially throughout lectures. There are various differences from food to the way of thinking. Sometimes I can’t understand lectures, because of the difference. For example, about race. Before I went to America, I knew many kinds of people live in America, and America has some problems about race. However, they were more serious than I thought, and American people always think of them earnestly. I think Japanese people including me regard Japanese problems of race as light, even though Japan also has problems about race. This is because almost all people living in Japan are Japanese. I spent two weeks in America, which has different background of race, and I realized I need to consider and discuss both American and Japanese problems more.
Secondly, I found out that communication with many people was so wonderful and important. Maybe this was the most important thing I learned from the program. I talked with many foreign people in English for the first time in my life. At first, I was so nervous of speaking English, because I was not confident about my English. However, PAs and CIs always enjoy conversation with me. It is more important to try to express my opinions than to try not to make mistakes. After I realized that, I enjoy talking in English not only with PAs and CIs, but also with local people in the church and in Washington D.C. Everyone I talked with was friendly, and liked Japan. I was so glad to hear that. The most memorable conversation was with woman in the church. She was a teacher of English, and she majored in English literature. She told me the pronunciation and accent were important when I spoke English. She also told me her experience when a Japanese student stayed with her family, and she said she liked Japan very much. It was precious and heartwarming time.
Finally, I come to want to learn more about America after I returned to Japan, because America has regional diversity mentioned in the first lecture. During this program, I visited Williamsburg, Yorktown, Richmond, and Washington D.C. I felt every cities had various atmosphere and scenery. America has many big cities and rural area other than cities I visited. Each city has different culture, history, and so on. So I would like to visit other places, eat local food, speak local people, and discover many attractions of the cities.
Through Keio/W&M Cross-Cultural Collaboration program, I spent precious and meaningful two weeks. I owe it to all Peer Assistants, Classroom Instructors, and Academic Directors. I thank all of you for supporting me, and now I miss you very much. I want to come back to America someday, and I’m looking forward to seeing you again.