Miho Hasebe from Japan studies Liberal Arts and English at College of the Desert in Palm Desert, California.
Why did you decide to study in the USA?
The reason why I decided to study in the United States is that I wanted to study English and American culture.
Why did you choose College of the Desert?
I wanted to study English in a quiet and safe surroundings. Palm Desert is a nice city for us to stay and study. Several police patrol the city by bicycle and garbage collectors clean round the city everyday. In addition, the weather is nice and warm all year round.
What do you like best?
I can make friends with American and multinational people. Also, professors are so friendly and they make their classes fun, so we can enjoy and learn a lot.
What do you miss most?
When I came to the United States, I thought I would miss my parents, but in fact, I miss dogs as my pet in Japan more than them.
How has this program helped you to handle future study at a U.S. university?
I have been studying in the United States about two years. I believe my English has improved. When I came here, I could only speak “Yes” and “Maybe.” Now I can understand what professors and friends say and respond to them.
What was your biggest surprise?
Hugging! When I came to the United States, my host families and friends hugged me. In Japan, we don’t have that custom, so I almost passed out at that time.
... your biggest disappointment?
There is nothing to make me disappointed.
How have you handled: ... language differences?
I talk with multinational people a lot, and watch American movies and dramas to improve my English.
I got an on-campus job from the school, so it helps me a lot. Also, it is a real-world experience for me.
... adjusting to a different educational system?
I didn't go to the university in Japan, so I can't be sure, but there are many group works in most of the class. Therefore, I can view and learn different perspectives.
What are your activities?
The international office offers us many outdoor activities, homestay programs, and studying abroad programs. I have participated in trips to San Diego beach, Santa Monica beach, and Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. Those activities were so pleasing.
How easy or difficult was making friends?
It's easy to make friends in the United States. I suppose that American people are highly liberal to people from another countries.
How relevant is your U.S. education to your personal goals and to the needs of your country?
I am still looking for my dream. Studying in the United States builds my self-confidence, so I can open up other possibilities.
What is your advice to other students who are considering a U.S. education?
“Above all, try something.” - Franklin D. Roosevelt