About 1week passed since I came back to Japan. I recall a lot of memories in Williamsburg and Washington D.C. I have so many wonderful experiences there and I miss all people who made all of them with me.
Before I participated this program, I had been to foreign countries only to travel. This
program was the first opportunity for me to study using English. Of course I had studied English for a long time, but I realized the real difficulty to tell what I thought in English precisely.
Doing research and making the presentation, I felt that difficulty real the most. At first, my group (Focus Group2) made the presentation about the contrast between Bukatsu system (Japanese high school sports) and American high school season sports system. But we found that it cannot be contrasted simply by one thesis statement. I almost did not have the idea of a thesis statement actually, so I found how important a thesis statement is. We realized that we had to find a new thesis statement that can be logical and make sense completely. After many times of arguments, I came up with the idea of comparing “team sports” in America and Japan. This idea was our conclusive topic of the presentation. I learned how important to voice out my opinions, concerns or questions during group works by this experience. I think I could not get this in Japan. I learned one more thing during focus group work. That is what is important is how enthusiastic to do our presentation is linked to how much listeners are interested in. When I did presentations in Japan, to do that was no more than the work to get a credit. But through the focus group work, I realized that presentation is the important and meaningful way to what I learn and find. It is important to make it clear and logical, and speak clearly not just read when presenting.
Each lectures everyday were also meaningful for me. We learned a lot about America. “What is locale?”, “gender and sexuality”, “race relations”, “music”, and so on. To my surprise, “race” was connected almost every lecture. I noticed that still racial problem takes root in America. My PA, Ravynn is an expert in this field. So she told her real experiences to us. I was so impressed about those stories. I would still like to learn about this. Though it is a matter of course, there are many differences between America and Japan. I had already known about this before I came to this program, but it was significant for me to see what it is really like in America.
Field trips also impressed me deeply. Colonial Williamsburg, Slave trail, Jazz performance, Williamsburg outlet, so many experiences I got. The Slave trail was the most striking for me. I was shocked to see how harsh the slave’s lives were. Sightseeing in Washington D.C. gave me many precious experiences to me. I got the feel of the central city of America.
I learned a lot thorough this program, but not only that, I was also enjoyed the short stay in America. I am more interested in differences between America and Japan than before. This program let me to study about cultural differences between a country and country, not only between America and Japan. I am so excited to study about that in my college days. And I hope to visit William&Mary again.