Yosuke Katada, from Japan, is studying English in the Intensive English Program (IEP) and is also a master’s student in the Analytics program at the University of San Francisco (USF) in California.
Why did you decide to study in the USA?
I have worked for eight years at several companies in Japan prior to coming to San Francisco. During my professional career, I felt that I needed to brush up my computer skills as well as English skill for future career. Therefore, I decided to study English and Analytics in the University of San Francisco (USF).
Why did you choose University of San Francisco, Intensive English Program (IEP)?
Since I already got the offer from master course in USF, the Intensive English Program (IEP) was most convenient for me to continue my study from IEP to master course without administrative work.
What do you like best?
Amazing instructors! They taught us American culture as well as English.
What do you miss most?
What was your biggest surprise?
The biggest surprise was that people in San Francisco are friendly and nice.
... your biggest disappointment?
How has this program helped you to handle future study at a U.S. university?
Around eight months have passed. I believe that my English improved a lot, especially speaking and listening.
How have you handled:
... language differences?
I am aware that other people cannot understand my English when I try to speak fast. So, I am trying to speak slowly to make sure good intonation and correct pronunciation.
Actually, living cost in San Francisco is not cheap. Especially housing cost is surprising. However, it’s an awesome experience in San Francisco.
... adjusting to a different educational system?
The biggest difference is class participation. Almost all of the students are just listening to lectures and do not ask questions during lecture. However, our classmates interact with instructors frequently, asking questions and adding comments. The class size at IEP and my master course is very small. Therefore, it is comfortable to interact with instructors.
What are your activities?
I visited AT&T Park for baseball game, arranged by IEP. That was really fun. Also, my friends and I went to Sausalito, the small but beautiful town at the opposite side of Golden Gate Bridge, by bicycle.
How easy or difficult was making friends?
Not difficult as long as you are open to others.
How relevant is your U.S. education to your personal goals and to the needs of your country?
My master study, analytics, is brand-new and interdisciplinary area of statistics and computer science. I want to be an outstanding professional with global perspective in analytical field. To be such a professional, it is necessary to communicate my specialty with people in English. I believe that my master course can help me to achieve my goal. Needless to say, IEP was really helpful for my good start in master course.
What is your advice to other students who are considering a U.S. education?
Japan is a mono-cultural environment, and Japanese people, including me; it’s hard to feel diversity in a daily life in Japan. However, you can know that people are different from each other through your study in international setting. This thing is really important to survive in the globalization. I hope that you can choose your best school.
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