Journal Entry 5 – Mone Iwata

This program is the first time to study abroad for me, so before leaving Japan I was a little nervous. But, I really enjoyed this program. I had new friends and I can learn many things.

I think the most important thing I learned in the US is that it is important and difficult to do something aggressively. In Japan, students listen to the lectures by professors in most classes, so we rarely discuss our opinions about lectures. On the other hand, in this program, after students listen to the lectures by professors, we discuss our opinions about the topics. At first, I couldn’t tell the class members my own opinions because I was not good at speaking in class. However, I was gradually accustomed to the form of the class, so I could speak my opinions in class more than first. I think this is the part where I grew the most in this program. It is the experience that we can’t do in Japan

One of the biggest events for me is focus group presentation. Before this program, I was not good at presentation because I don’t know the way to prepare. Until joining this program, I made PowerPoint slides before deciding thesis statement and making script. However, after I made a presentation in this program, I began to think it may be wrong because in this way I can’t plan presentations at the first stage. The most important thing to make easy presentations for audience is logical from introduction to conclusion. For this purpose, I think the presenters should first assume the conclusion of the topic, investigate details and make a presentation logically toward the conclusion. I learned this fact through focus group work and presentation.

In the free time, I enjoyed American culture very much! Especially, in the food-related culture I felt the difference between Japan and the US. I ate many American food such as hamburgers, sandwiches. I was surprised that the amount of meals was larger than that of Japan all at the first time. American food was very delicious, but I can’t eat up because it is large for me. In Japan, there are not many dishes with high volume in general restaurants. Also, ‘tips’, the American unique custom, is very difficult culture for me. I went to Hawaii with my family last summer, so I knew that custom. However, for several days after arriving in the US, I didn’t know what to do at the time of checking out. I heard that in the US, the minimum labor wage is low, and the employees can’t live without tips income, so the tips custom exists. I think this custom is very good system because it will lead the motivation for their own work. To be honest, I felt a little envious of this ‘tips’ culture. In this way, I felt the difference between Japan and the US from various parts, and I could find many good points of Japan and the US.

This program is very good experience for me, and it is an important experience I can’t forget. Thank you very much.

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