Journal 5

I cannot believe that two weeks have passed since I left the United States. I felt that time I spent in the United States was like a dream. I visited the United States for the first time, so everything was new to me. I had thought of the United States as wide and liberal nation, and this image I had was true. The United States have a vast extent of land, and a scale of anything is very larger than that of Japan. It seems to me that people of the United States don’t care about where people came from or what their nationality are. This is because I have not had any trouble because of being Japanese during my stay in the United States. Most people accept various differences such as race, religion, personal background, etc. They live together beyond such differences. Although there are still discrimination or conflict in the United States, I felt that most people are tolerant and respect each other more than I had expected.

I learned some important things during my stay. First, we Japanese people need to be more interested in social problems. I attended lectures whose topics were various such as American history, race, religion, gender, etc. Through these lectures, I learned that there are many social problems that is difficult to solve. However I felt that many American people or politicians deal with them. This is because in dialogue class I learned that these problems are cultural and political in the United States, so a lot of American people tend to connect their attitude to them with their political thought. In Japan, we often separate them from politics. Therefore only people concerned are interested in them. Most people don’t know well what the problem point is or what to do to solve them. I think that even though the Japanese government is trying to solve them, it doesn’t make sense unless people try to deal them. That is why, we Japanese need to be more interested in social problems.

Second, it is important to acquire wide range of knowledge. In dialogue class, we compare the United States with Japan on the basis of the lecture we listened to. However, I could not talk about Japan well. Although I learned various things concerning the United States, I don’t have a deep knowledge of Japan. In an increasingly globalized world, we have to become acquainted with not only foreign countries but also Japan. This is why, I came to want to learn about Japan from various points of view after this program.

Third, the most important thing I have learned is that there is a need to have opinion and make a comment. During the dialogue class, I couldn’t say something because I didn’t have abundant knowledge and so didn’t have my own opinion. However, other students remarked during the class even though their opinion was not necessarily excellent. Of course it is essential to acquire deep and broad knowledge in order to form logical opinion, but it is more important to state your opinion even if it is shallow. I felt that I should not hesitate to say something during the class.

Finally through this program, I learned these three important things and recognized what I can do and what I cannot do. Also I could look at Japan objectively by leaving Japan and recognized that I love Japan. I came to want to know more about Japan and decided to work for Japan in the future. Of course I want to continue studying English and visit many foreign countries I have never been to. I gained a lot of things during this program. I had a great experience in the United States, so I want to say thank you to everyone who took part in this program.

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Journal Entry 5

Before I went to the US for this program, I had two big assumptions about the US. Thus, I will talk about how my impression of the US changed this time.

 

First, I thought food was not so good as regards taste or health. The reason why I thought like that is I had a bad memory about American foods. When I was a little child, I lived in San Jose and ate American foods almost every day. It was very hard for me to continue to eat them every day because they were quite greasy and didn’t have much taste, and I missed Japanese foods like sushi and Chinese food like noodles so I often asked my mother to take me to Japanese or Chinese restaurant. Therefore, I had an unfavorable impression on American foods. I found, however, that impression was totally wrong. During the program, I ate various kinds of American foods, and almost all of them were great, especially “Dog Street Burger” it was so nice, I liked it very much so I want to eat again. It is true that American foods are greasier and heavier than Japanese foods, “Washoku”, but they were much more delicious than expected.

 

Second, I will talk about personality. Generally, it seems that in Japan, people usually care about other people and are kind to them, such as a mind of “Omotenashi”. On the other hand, many people in the US are thought to be individualists so it could say less kind to other people than Japanese if this stereotype was correct. However, this assumption was also totally wrong. On the contrary, I felt American people were so kind during staying. For example, almost all cars yielded us, every time we tried to cross the roads. While in Japan, we can’t see the scene like this. Japanese drivers are always in a big hurry, and they strive to be first to go the way, so they won’t always give way to pedestrians. My mother also knows this fact, she often says “Japanese drivers are narrow-minded”, and I think so, too.  Moreover, many PA, CI and so on helped us sincerely, not only in the lectures and the time when we prepared the FG work, but also free time. Such as they checked our journals and taught correct grammar until late at night. Therefore, I think there are many Americans who are so kind and broad-minded.

 

From the above, I could find that there were many facts in the US which I didn’t know and misunderstand till I actually went to the US, so it was precious experience for me to have been able to participate in this program. It can say not only about the US, but also about all countries. Therefore, through this program, I learned that I should broaden my outlook and think outside the box, not cling to various stereotypes. It is the most important thing when we think about the characteristics of things like this, I think.

 

 

We have written four journals so far, and this journal is last one. Therefore, I feel something sad. Thank you for reading.

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Journal 5

In August 20, we finished all programs of W&M university – keio university course and came back to Japan. I was interested in the cultural differences between Japan and America and the factors of these differences, because I wondered that there were many differences between Japan and America though we are the same specific. So I thought that this course is important and decided to join this course.

The way of this class consists of three steps. The first way is “Lecture”. Each teacher thought me various disciplines, American culture, history and social problem. After that, we discussed about those lectures. This is the second way, “dialogue class”. In parallel, we were divided into 8 groups and made presentations about various topic about a difference between Japan and America each group. I belonged to 7group. These ways like the ways of my seminar.

In my seminar, we learn and discuss about microeconomics. In parallel, I am making an essay about IT technology until “Mita festival” with members of my seminar. When I became junior, I could take such class. When I was freshmen and sophomore, I took the classes which were one-side and defensive. I can’t mention which way is better, but I think it is necessary to take the one-side and defensive classes when students are freshmen and sophomore. There are two reasons why I think so. The first reason is that there are many fields, business, commerce, and marketing in my faculty. So it is necessary to take the one-side and defensive classes, to find out a faculty about which one wants to learn deeply. The second reason is that it is necessary to acquire knowledge about a faculty about which one wants to learn before joining to seminar. So we should take the one-side and defensive classes when students are freshmen and sophomore.

This program had various activities except for classes and these activities were very exciting. Among them, it was the most exciting event that we visited Smithsonian museums. Before visiting them, I watched “Night Museum 2”, and I wanted to visit Smithsonian museums which were the settings of “Night Museum 2”. In National Air and Space museum, there are many full sized fighter aircraft, a model of monkey which had been to the cosmos, small dolls of Einstein, and so on. I watched all of them in the movie. I couldn’t visit all of Smithsonian museum. So if I go to Washington D.C. again, I want to visit Smithsonian museum which I couldn’t visit this time.

And when we walked many streets in America, I saw persons who played Pokemon Go. I think the Pokemon Go boom has been existed in America. After coming back to Japan, I realized that the number of people who play Pokemon Go is decreasing because many my friends ended it and I could see a few persons who play it on the streets in Japan.

I’m looking forward to seeing PAs, TAs and the other people who helped me im next training.

I want to continue to learn about America history, culture, politics and English. And I want to make use of this experience to my life.

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journal5

This was the first time for me that I have ever visited the United States and studied abroad. So I experienced many cultural differences and felt American style in many situations both in daily life and in work even though our stay was only two weeks.

Since I had ever visited many countries before this program, I didn’t think I struggled culture shock between America and Japan. But actually I did. For example, I have known that customers in other countries are not superior to shop assistant but they are equal situations. So their speaking styles are usually friendly unlike Japan. But I realized American have especially too much  ‘small talk ‘ in any shops compered to other countries that I had been to. I’m so surprised that culture that I told Japanese ambassador about that story. He answered that it is because America has so many people who have different backgrounds. So they have to have such kind of communication in dairy life in order to show no hostility. By contrast, Japanese has culture which people should understand each other with few words. I had thought it is more comfortable to be spoken to formally by shop assistant. But maybe it is only because I am unfamiliar with small talk.

And living with local people was completely different from just traveling abroad. American are discuss about social or political issues such as feminism in everyday life unlike Japanese students. And they have positive attitude to express one’s opinion. Considering that point it is advantage of this program to talk with people who are approximately the same age of us.

As for lectures, the topic I want to learn more is the American religion. Since Japanese are not keen on religious matters compared to American, it was almost first lecture about religion in my life. I didn’t know even Protestantism divided many group, including Evangelicalism and Mainline. And now, professor said, many Americans become not belonging to any religion or switching to other religion year by year. She said that one reason of this is Islam phobia. The switching across religion makes sense, but I couldn’t understand how can people who had depended on particular religion become a member of no religious group? Can an earnest believer become same as me that having nothing to faith from the day of my birth? Above all, the act of believing something as religion itself is interesting enough. And the field trip for evangelical or mainline church made my understanding stronger. Our visit of the black church completely overturned my prejudice of mass because I had thought believers regard their religion as serious and strict thing. Although I couldn’t figure out the church was belonging to which religious affiliation at that time, I’m really surprised at the lively atmosphere in church. Everyone laughed at ministry’s jokes and shouted the word “unity” repeatedly. They seemed to enjoy the mass itself. It was very impressive memory for me and I realized that maybe almost all I had known about religious was depended on my images or prejudices.

I’m very happy to know such difference and now I like both America and Japan much more than before.

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Journal5

The most important thing I have learned during my stay in the United States is to try to talk to others in English even if my English is not perfect. Before I take part in this program, I usually hesitate to speak to others especially in English. However, in order to make the most of this program, I made a goal to try to talk to the W&M student aggressively. At first, it seemed difficult for me to realize my goal because I was not confident my English. But once I try to do that, I could realize that I can do it. If my English is not so understandable, I could make conversation successfully since someone to talk with try to understand what I want to say and they speak slowly. And I found that the listing ability is very important as well as the speaking ability during conversations. I realized this when I talked with a W&M student. Even if I can make myself understood in English, I can’t communicate with people if I don’t understand what others say. Therefore I decided to practice not only speaking but also listening.
The perception of the United States was changed before and after this program with three points. First one is about people. I thought American is more individual than Japanese, however in reality, they were very kind to others and they respect our opinions during discussions and preparation of the presentation. They express their opinions clearly so we can easily understand what they think. For example, in our FG work, PA always asked us what we want to present and led us to create better construction and conclusion of presentation. As these kind of things, I could realize Americans are more corporative than I expected.
Second one is about race. I thought that there were mainly white and black people in the United States. However, through my 2 weeks’ stay, I found that there are many other kinds of race in America, for example Mexican or Chinese. Moreover I felt something wrong with the reality that more black and Mexican people seem to do physical work compared to white people. In Japan, almost everyone is the same race so I was surprised to the situation that works are separated according to their race. These situation is unusual in Japan now ,however, if many foreign people come to Japan in order to find job, I wonder if this situation will happen in Japan too.
Third one is about the dense of population. Before I went to the United States, I thought there were a lot of people in Washington D.C. like Tokyo because D.C. is the capitol of the United States. But in reality, there were a few people than I had expected and many stores were closed very early. On the other hand, in Tokyo, there are a lot of people and so many stores open for 24h. So even if the city is capitol, it isn’t always economically prosperous. From these points I found a difference between two cities.

Through this program I learned many things and spent precious time with friends. Thank you!!

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Journal 5

Through this short term study abroad program, I could get valuable experience. We couldn’t have got such a good experience if we were in Japan. I really appreciate the help I received from all staff of this program. Because of them, I have been able to spend happy time in the U.S.. I have never been to the main land of the U.S., so I was surprised by so many things. My first impression of America was that “everything is big”. It is bigger than I expected. I felt it in both Williamsburg and Washington D.C. The days I spent in Williamsburg are the most memorable days in this program, because I have never been to such a special city where we can feel a living history. I enjoyed this place which is complete different from where I have ever been to. It was a precious experience.

I have the objective why I select this short term study abroad program at William and Mary from a lot of similar program which Keio university recommends. The content of frame work lecture of this program is about American history and culture, which is what I want. I want to know people’s opinion on race, religious, political, history and so on. We can know incidents which happened in the U.S. through TV and newspaper written in Japanese even when we are in Japan. However, these coverages about an incident in the U.S. are based on Japanese general opinion, so we cannot understand completely the general opinion in the U.S. I think the evaluation of Donald Trump is good example. Mass medias of Japan have strong tendency to broadcast his speech in Republican National Convention so that a lot of people support fervently Donald Trump. I think that is because mass media try to make us feel a sense of danger. In fact, he is dangerous for the relationship between Japan and the U.S. Because of such a coverage, I thought a lot of American support him but when I talked to PA they frowned and I have never seen a person who supports him. This fact may be affected that people who I met in America have knowledge and interest about politics, but I was surprised at this fact.

Through the frame work lecture and dialogue class about religious, I felt the opinion about it is very different between Japan and the U.S.. Especially, the relation between politics and religion is huge difference point. In the frame work lecture about religious, the professor talked about Catholic and Protestant. In the same time, she mentioned that there is only one president who is Catholic. I am surprised at what she said. Japanese do not care of which religion a president or a prime minister has faith in. In fact, we do not know what religion past and current prime ministers of Japan have faith in. I felt politics and religion are closely related in the U.S..  I got impressed by the words which are “There is only one race. It is just a human. We often separate races by just geographic factor. It is a mistake.” in the dialogue class Khan who is CI of our dialogue class told us. Before she said that, she asked us “How many races are there in the world?”. I answered “it is uncountable” because I have fixed idea that there are so many races. In fact, in many frame work lectures, professor said that there are so many problems because there are many races. Therefore, her words are impressive for me.

My first visit of main land of the U.S was pleasant and good, but it includes bitter experience. I do not have enough ability of speaking and listening in English, so I could not tell full of what I think and feel. If I had these capabilities, I could make this studying abroad experience more meaningful. It is my only regret. From now on, I want to study English harder and want to go to study abroad next year in America.

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journal5

During and after this program, what changed my perception of America is about safety. Cities in America were safer than I expected. I heard that Chicago is one of the most dangerous cities in America. There were more people in Chicago than Williamsburg, but I didn’t feel that dangerous especially in the metro where someone told us to pay attention to others carefully. I thought we should not have prejudice before we experience something by ourselves.
Also, I assumed that Japanese people have much more consideration to others, but I noticed American people are also kind. For example, people in America often hold a door for others who will pass next. This culture cannot necessarily be seen in Japan. However, I felt that attitude of American clerks is worse than that of Japanese. Kindness of servers in restaurants might be thanks to tip, but in other cases, I thought general American people are more gentle than Japanese.

The main matter I learned in this program is the importance of languages. Although I could almost understand what people speak in English, I couldn’t express all of what I was thinking about. I couldn’t mostly help using conventional patterns of response. I wished I could have transmitted my thoughts in detail like in Japanese. I realized that in order to show others that I am a person who have much more firm and substantial ideas, a decent acquisition of the language is needed.
One of the PAs told me a story that in the era of what is called global society, it is pity that she doesn’t have an opportunity to learn the second language because she speaks a lingua franca, English. In spite of the fact, some of PAs speak other than their mother tongues very fluently. I respect them from this point and I want to keep practicing speaking English. At the same time, I was happy because I could talk about deep and profound topics with some PAs using a lot of means.

What I still want to learn is about the sense of equality in America. I know that “equality” has a great meaning in America as shown in the Declaration of Independence, and in some lectures in the college, there were topics about equality, such as women, Native Americans and Blacks. Although I felt that equality is richer in America than Japan during the dialog class, maybe there are still problems of inequality in America due to diverse society, and this is why the professors major in such topics and affairs. Even in CAs and PAs, many kinds of races were there. I want to learn how a lot of species think about inequality directly, not through the professors or scholars.

After staying in America for two weeks for the first time, from the perspective of American culture, I noticed that everything is larger than Japan. We took much more time and distance to move from one place to another especially in Virginia than we are in Japan. Also, the quantity of food served in restraint and seen in shops were lager than Japan. I heard that American people take care about their health recently, but the eating habits we experienced during this two weeks were what I had thought of as “America”. However, I was surprised that bringing back leftovers from meals home is common practice in America. Japan doesn’t have such a practice and even it is seen as rude. On the other hand in China, I heard that leaving food uneaten is polite and expresses respect for cooks. I thought such cultural differences are interesting, and I want to learn more.

I appreciate this summer short program and many staff not only because I could spend so exciting time, but also I could find interesting matters as I mentioned above. Then I want to keep join in such a program that support exchange students in Japan, and next time, I would like to show excellence, attractiveness, beauty and so on in Japan to them.

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Journal 5

At first, I was so nervous. I worried about speaking and listening English. Other students could speak English fluently. So, I felt inferior. But, I was forgetting my uneasiness over time. I had a good time and many precious experiences for only two weeks. When I arrived at the United States, everything was my first experience. I have never seen 7 lane highways, squirrels, many memorials and so on. I have never experienced bumpy roads. I didn’t know how to use the metro. My first impression for the United States was so scary. An immigration officer seemed to be so strong, and I felt that he was blunt. However, as time went on, my perception of the United States changed. People in the United States were very friendly. When I went to a restaurant, I asked a clerk where the bathroom was. He answered that there weren’t any bathrooms. I was surprised and believed what he said. Then, he started laughing and said he had lied to me. In Japan, clerks don’t lie and talk to me. However, in the United States, clerks make a funny joke and scare me. I think this is a good point because when I am tired, this behavior made me smile.  I could loosen up a little through this experience.

Through this program, I thought that the most important thing was not to be afraid of making mistakes. This was so difficult for me. I felt that making mistakes was a bad thing. However, this way of thinking was wrong. If I couldn’t make myself understood in English, I tried to communicate again and again, and they understood me. I gradually talked freely to my roommate, Kyra and the times when I started to talk to other local students increased. I was a bit shy, but I could change myself. Every failure is a stepping stone to success. It’s ok to make mistakes. That’s how we grow.

I have one word which I must not forget. This is what Ms. Khanh said. Human beings are often separated by physical features, nationality and race. Also, specific persons are made trouble for and discriminated. This is “segregation”. Segregation is the like hazing. We know that segregation must not be promoted. We often watch a program about segregation on TV. In America, which is often compared with Japan, White, African-American, Latino, and Asian has gotten together and has formed its original culture. I thought that the image of them given to us was “White is cool. African-American is scary.” At least that was what I thought when I was a child. However, this image was wrong. I have a word about it which still inspires me while I joined this program. In dialogue class, our teacher, Ms. Khanh, asked us how many races there are in the world. I thought that race is separated by skin color. So, my answer was 4. However, she said, “Race is the only one. Race isn’t real. Human beings are born from the same gene. It is very ridicules to separate human beings.” I was so surprised. I didn’t realize that I might segregate. Like that, discrimination might happen. In Japan, Tokyo 2020 will be held, and many people will visit from various countries. Then, we need to understand the difference, for example skin colors, sexual orientation, language, and so on. Japanese aren’t discriminated by racial difference because they belong to the largest group of something in the world. Also, we don’t have many chances to meet all other races. The reason is because Japan is consisted of only Asian. So, we don’t have a chance to think about the problem. By our unconscious discriminatory action, people from foreign countries hurt their feelings and our country will be internationally criticized. Even if no offense is meant, being discriminated is something to bother them. The most important thing is education to end discrimination. Then, what can I do when I started working? I knew accurate knowledge through this program. I can tell my children about it. Also, if people around me discriminate others, I can correct their attitude. In other words, what I can do is only to pass on accurate knowledge. However, if nobody will tell it, nothing will change. I hope that my behavior will be one of prime movers.

I want to say thank you to all of members who join in this program. I was glad to have been able to meet you all. The two weeks I spent with you was filled with valuable memories that could not be replaced. I had a great time staying with you!!

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Journal Entry 5

After arriving at Japan, I realized many same points as what I expected before leaving Japan, and different points too. First, most of food menu was so big size for Japanese that I was bit confused. When we got to seaside restaurant at Williamsburg, I felt so strongly. I heard we would eat salad with crab cake from our CI, so I imagined we would eat salad as the appetizer and other snacks. But my guess was wrong. It was clearly that the salad was given as main dish because it was 10 times larger than that I ate as the appetizer in Japan. After all, I couldn’t finish a meal. In addition to this, I realized that American street was filled with hamburger shops. I often eat noodle as lunch or dinner in Japan, in contrast, I felt I ate hamburger in America as often as noodle in Japan. As a result, I got a bit fat.(increased 2 kilogram) I understood the fear of getting weight overseas.

Second, my English wasn’t gotten through to native people as much as I hoped. That was shocking fact for me. Actually I practiced to talk with foreigners in English at English conversation school. The teacher were so kind that I felt safe when I told what I wanted to say in English. They became hard to understand my clumsy English. But the reality was not so sweat. Most of American’s English was so fast that I who is poor at listening to English couldn’t continue conversation smoothly. And because of lack of my vocabulary, there were many situations when I couldn’t tell what I wanted to say. I expected, but I recognized I didn’t have enough knowledge of English. After all, I tried to talk within 5 words English. I’d like to continue to practice talking with foreigners like that style.

Next, what I never forget was their sense of traffic. When we were at Williamsburg, we almost use a van as the way of transportation. Then I realized that the average speed of not only our van but other cars around ours are clearly faster than Japanese. In addition, Various parts of the road(←360) were so rough that the van was shaken harder and I felt nauseated a little. I think these things may be the sign of American’s personality. I wonder if the traffic law in America is not so strict as in Japan.(402)

At last, I sum up this summer program. This is my first trip abroad (Strickly speaking, I’ve been to Guam. But most of the local people could speak Japanese, so I don’t regard it as an overseas trip), so I was very nervous before arriving at Washington. Sure enough, I was very confused by touching English atmosphere and local English. But after a week, I learned somehow approach of several situations. Honestly speaking, I don’t think I improved my English essentially. But it was certainly benefit that I touched the atmosphere of foreign country. If I plan to go abroad again in the future, I’ll recall this experiences.

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Journal 5

Before I participated in this program, I thought there would be few difficulties in communication in English. It is because I had rarely felt inconvinient during speaking English in Japan. However after this program, I fully realized I have to study not for the purpose for speaking English but for using English as a tool. I felt as a difficulty when we talked about the difference of our culture. As most of the students in William and Marry were very familiar with Japanese culture, so it was easy to talk about the subject. On the other hand it was difficult to answer about Japanese culture. In contrast, students in William and Marry wer so familiar to their countries culture. When I did not know well about the religion in America, they told me about it, and I understood about it deeply. From this experience, I thought I have to learn about not only American culture, but also Japanese culture more deeply.
The lectures were more useful than I thought before. What I was most interested in the lecture was the problem of blacks and whites. I knew that this problem was very serious, even passed many years Emancipation Proclamation was brought out.
It was interesting to compare Williamsburg with Washington D.C.. In Williamsburg.
American people greet each other, even they do not know each other. I felt it very warm. When I say ”Hello” to strange people , they reply to me with nice smile. Also, when I buy something in shop, clerk starts with greeting like ”How are you?”. Japanese has no habit like this so it was rare to see it. American people might have this habit because that there are many immigrants and many people from different countries, different backgrounds. Thus, they had to know each other by greeting. On the other hand, Japan is a island and it was not necessary to do this.
What I thought Japan should learn from America was that to use leftover system. I was impressed that in USA, it is usual to use this system. Although some Japanese take care of sanitation strictly, I thought the system should spread more in Japan.
Also, I learned many things from visiting the Sumesonian Musium. I was so happy to visit those places for free. And what was wonderful is that there were many exhibits which came from different countries. I was very impressed when I went to”the Museum of Holocaust”. I learned it when I was in high school, though knowing their real voice and watching the thing left by the Jewish directly, my heart was almost breaking with sorrow. What was a little consolation for me was that there were Germen who fought for Jewish by putting Jewish marks on themselves. I would like to come back to D.C. and come to this museum again. We should not forget this tragedy for not to repeat it.
I was also glad to visit the Japanese Embassy.The talk of the member of the embassy was very interesting, especially the talk about how to learn English for using it as a tool and how did they decided their work. I had known it is not easy to be a diplomat, though they talked to us with in plain words and humor. My dream is to let people out of Japan know the great part of Japan. So it was so useful to know about their job.
I really want to visit the United States again.
What I regret a little is that I should had studied about World History again before this program, so that I could have expand my knowledge much more. By watching the historical materials and buildings, I realized that what I studied happened actually. I was so happy to feal like that.
What I wanted to learn is American young people’s language. During this program, I learned some of it and it was interesting.
I want to say thank you to my parents who allowed me to participate in this program, and also to all of the member who took part in it. I am so glad that to meet with the member of the College of William and Marry.

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