外国語学部英語学科 小茂田 紗希
I went to study abroad at UC Irvine in the USA, September 27 to March 26.
First, I will talk about Irvine. Irvine is a safe city and has good weather. I think it is easy to live in. There are lot of beautiful beaches close to Irvine, so you can go to beaches easiliy after school or weekends. I went to beaches with my friends after school and weekends, and I could see beautiful sunsets. If you see it, you can relax.
Next, I will talk about homestay. My host familiy is American, so I was able to learn American culture too. There were a host mom, two brothers, and one sister. My host mom was so kind. She made me delicious dinner every day. She took me many places such as movie theaters, sports games and shopping centers. My host brother was six years old and my host sister was seven years old. My host brother was so funny. They always came to my room, and they said “let’s play game together, let’s dance together”. And more, we watched movies and ate dinner every day. I had a fun time with them. In addition, there were Thanksgiving and Christmas parties. My host mom invited me to them, so I could eat traditional American food and meet their relatives.
Third, I will talk about school. I had three classes from 8 am to2 pm. I studied grammar, writing, speaking, listening and reading classes. In addition, I was able to improve presentation skills too. I gave a lot of presentations for six months. For example, my favorite place, city, picture, movie and more. I did not enjoy doing presentations very much, but I gave presentations over and over. Now I enjoy doing presentations in English. Then the exchange students at UCI were from a lot of different countries. I was able to make a lot of friends. My classes were so fun. There were Chinese, Korean, Taiwanese, Saudi Arabian, Kuwaiti, Turkish people. I learned a lot of different cultures from my friends. Especially, people that left the biggest impression on me were Arabic people. They really love their country, songs and food. I thought they were scared of me, but they were so kind and funny. They were willing to learn Japanese and Japanese culture. I taught them Japanese culture and Japanese, such as politeness, four seasons, foods and famous place and so on. They taught me their culture and their languages such as religions, family and foods and so on. We taught our cultures each other. In addition, my Arabic friends took me to Arabic restaurants. I ate Arabic foods with my hands for the first time. It was so delicious and I will never forget it. I had valuable experiences from my friends.
In conclusion, I went to study abroad, because I wanted to improve my English skills. Of course, I was able to improve my English skills. I was able to meet really great friends. And more, I could learn a lot of different country’s culture from my funny friends. I hope to see my friends again. I appreciate my parents, host family and my friends. I had a great time in Irvine. Thank you.
私は、アメリカのカリフォルニア大学アーバイン校のESL(English as a Second Language) クラスで、6ヶ月間学んでいました。ESLには様々な国の人たちがいました。英語を学ぶだけではなく、その国の文化なども学べました。そして、ホームステイ先ではとても手のこった夕食だけでなく予定のない日などは一緒にお出かけに連れて行ってもらいコミュニケーションだけでなく、まるで本当の家族のように私を受け入れてくれました。夕食を食べた後、一緒にアイスクリームを食べながらテレビや映画を見て話をしていたのがとても楽しかったです。夕食には毎日おいしくてヘルシーな手料理をつくってくれました。
The key point that being yourself and avoiding catastrophic consequences that make you feel uncomfortable is to stop comparing your way to be yourself and others.
My friends who I met at ESL had a specific dream what they wanted to be or do in their future. They inspired me so much. Most of them are same age as me or little bit younger or older, but they know what they believe, think or love, how they feel, and what they should do. I don’t know if their faiths, principles, and judges are right. I guess even some of them don’t know either. However, I’m pretty sure they are just going ahead the way they believe.
Let me give you some examples. You may be so jealous of wealthy people at some point because they seem they can afford anything they want. Even though it is not necessary for their daily life, they get it because they have money. You also envy people who look older than their age, can speak many languages fluently, ask teacher bunch of questions during a silent class, or are really good at icebreaking. I suggest you to stop thinking of those things and try to think "people are different."
The first day of school at ESL, I was so miserable due to the fact that students around me were speaking in English and some of them were asking a stranger where the place they should have gone to attend the ceremony. And also right over there, they’ve already become friends and were exchanging their numbers. It was huge impact and shock for me but also it encouraged me to study English harder than I’d been doing before. What I want to tell you is that everyone looks smarter than me at first. And then you get nervous. But don’t worry about it. It is normal and it happens to everyone in any ways. So please just pretend you are okay with all thing that you want to get through but it’s hard to do till you make it.
Another thing that many students have in their minds. Do you think it’s a great idea not to talk with Japanese students in Japanese? No Japanese? Is studying abroad about having fun with native English speaker friends? I would say there is no right or wrong. As I said, you have your goal and others have theirs. You don’t need to think I’m inferior or I may not be doing a right thing. If you want to talk to Japanese friends in Japanese, that’s fine. You will realize how easy to explain what exactly you want to say. Sometimes you feel you want to hung out with people whose first language is not English. That is totally fine. You can learn and see new things that’s never come up to your mind.
If you are interested in studying abroad, you should. Before going to the U.S., I didn’t expect I was going to spend amazing six months there. Everyone deserves to pursue what they want to know. No one knows you will get something what you are looking for. You’ll see. Thank you.