Why did you decide to study in the USA?
I would like to be an international nurse in the future, so I need to speak in English. Also, I would like to know American culture because it is so much different from Japan.
Why did you choose Spring International Language Center?
Actually, I did not choose this school. My school in Japan has a relationship with Spring International Language Center and it has been sending many students to this English program for years. Even though I did not choose it, I am very happy that I am in this school.
What do you like best?
I enjoy meeting students from different countries and sharing our cultures. The teachers and all the staff are so kind and friendly. I always feel at home with them.
What do you miss most?
I am really enjoying my life here, so I do not miss anything except my mother’s cooking!
How has this program helped you to handle future study at a U.S. university?
I have been studying here for almost a year. This school gives me not only great classes with excellent teachers in all the English skills like reading, writing, grammar and listening/speaking, but it also offers a lot of activities. There are school trips like bowling, ski trips, camping, skiing, etc., conversation tables, and cultural exchange. Most especially, the host family program is great. The school found me an awesome host family. All these have helped improve my English, especially my listening and speaking skills.
What was your biggest surprise?
I have two biggest surprises about the U.S. First, there is beautiful nature, so I see rabbits, squirrels and geese everywhere. That was so surprising to me because if people would like to see these animals in Japan they have to go the zoo. Second, the U.S. is so kind to the handicapped.
... your biggest disappointment?
My biggest disappointments are American food and the behavior in trains and buses. It is also my culture shock. If I compare between Japanese food and American food, the American food has high calories. Second, the manner on trains and buses is not good for me. I cannot believe that talking on the cellphone and putting feet up on the chair are allowed! This is so different from Japanese culture.
How have you handled:
... language differences?
I always try to have a conversation with my host family. When I first came here, I totally could not speak in English and I could not tell them what I was thinking. But, they always tried to figure it out and finally they understood what I wanted to say. I believe that one should not give up telling someone what he or she wants to say. This is how I have handled language differences.
... adjusting to a different educational system?
In Japan, we just listen to what teachers say and take notes, but in SILC we often work together with classmates.
What are your activities?
I have joined and enjoyed all of the school activities such as skiing, watching hockey games, basketball games, river rafting, picnic, Halloween party and so on.
Also, during vacation, I went to New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon. I also went camping with my host family in the summer. I will never forget all of these wonderful activities that I have experienced here in the U.S.!
How easy or difficult was making friends?
I think that making friends is easy in the USA because almost most American people are so friendly. When I go to the school, people say “good morning” with a smile, so greeting is the first step to making friends.
How relevant is your U.S. education to your personal goals and to the needs of your country?
My goal is to be an international nurse in the future so this program is just the beginning and is really important to me. Studying here is really beneficial because we do not have a lot of opportunities to speak English in Japan. My stay here in America helps me to be an international nurse. Also, I can know a lot of cultures here. That gives me a broad vision and flexible thinking.
What is your advice to other students who are considering a U.S. education?
The most important advice from me is not to be shy and not to be afraid of asking.
This is really important to study English in the USA. If you do not understand what people are saying, you have to ask them. Then, your English is going to improve faster and your communication skill will get better. Most of all, enjoy studying English!