Through this Keio University/ College of William & Mary Cross-Cultural Collaboration Program, my way of thinking has greatly changed. Actually, I had never been to foreign countries before this program. I thought that America is so far from Japan, and these countries are very different. However, I found that this was not true. I felt that “it’s a small world” like that song.
Surely, it took half a day to fly from Tokyo to Washington D.C. The distance from Tokyo to D.C is 6,789 miles. Of course, language and culture are also different. (I been to U.S. to learn them…) However, the generous differences were smaller than I had expected.
For example, the difference between urban and countryside is same between two countries. In countryside, there are few people, buildings and shops. On the other hand, in urban the number of people, buildings or shops is large, and time flies more quickly than countryside. People who live in urban tend to think a lot about beauty and health trends, and there are some health-conscious restaurants. I realized these differences when I traveled domestically before and went abroad to U.S. this time. These features are seen in both Japan and U.S.
Moreover, from a point of view of social problem, I realized the common feature. In the lecture about discrimination, I learned that there are historical problem about discrimination to black people in U.S. Superficially, the discrimination has already gone, but in fact these problem still remains today. The same can be said of Japan. In Japan, there was a discrimination against Korean people and this also still remains today.
As the reason why the distance between countries is closing, the development of SNS can be considered. There are many tools which can connect person to person. For example, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook…etc. We can keep in touch no matter when no matter where, and we can know about what happens all over the world. Actually, when I been to U.S, I checked online news, Twitter or Instagram, so I know what happened in Japan while I was not in Japan.
Therefore “it’s a small world.” Before this program, I thought that the news or incident in foreign countries happen in the distance and they don’t concern me. However, my way of thinking has greatly changed. What happens int the world is not far from me and I have to concern about them.
Ms. Leah, a tutor of my dialog class, knows many things about events or problems in the world. She knows not only about her own country, but also about Japan, or other countries. I want to become this kind of person like her. I want to keep studying English and want to get interested in world affairs.
Moreover, through this program, I can speak English without resistance. Before I joined this program, I thought that I had to speak perfect English, so it took a lot time to collect my ideas and speak English. However, I realized that this way of speaking was wrong. I learned that it is important to try to speak and express what I want to say. By studying English and trying to speak many times, speaking skills will gradually improve.
I will never forget what I learned through this program. I want to keep studying English.