Studying Sports Nutrition at Santa Rosa Junior College
Haruna Matsuoka from Japan is in her second year at SRJC in California.
Why did you decide to study in the USA?
I’ve enjoyed speaking English since I was 10 years old. It’s the most spoken language in the world and I’d like to be a global citizen. I want to meet a lot of people from different backgrounds and have a wide variety of experiences in my life. I believe that enriches me and makes me stronger as a person.
Why did you choose your university/college?
I became interested in sports nutrition in Japan and I learned that Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC) has a good sports nutrition program, therefore I chose to come to SRJC to pursue that program. I’ve never lived in an area near the coast, so that was also part of my dream.
Have you taken any classes outside your major that you’ve enjoyed?
Yes! Since my goal is to transfer to a 4-year university to finish my bachelor’s degree, I need to take general education classes. I have enjoyed taking classes in different fields of study. For example, art, math, public speaking, psychology, and humanities. I have especially enjoyed my art class because I like to paint and I enjoy visiting the SRJC art gallery. My art professor introduces history by exploring different works of art. It makes studying interesting and so much fun!
What were some struggles you faced and how did you handle it?
I still struggle with English slang. Sometimes it makes it difficult for me to talk with friends because I don’t always understand the true meaning. Academic English can also be hard because I sometimes forget a word or expression and then the conversation stops. I use YouTube, podcasts, and textbooks to learn new expressions.
What is your favorite place on campus?
My favorite place on the SRJC campus is one of the individual study rooms in the library. It’s so peaceful and there is a nice view from the window. I can really focus on my class work there. I also like the cafeteria and the sports medicine clinic.
What do you want to do after graduation?
I’d like to transfer to a California State University (CSU) to finish my bachelor’s degree. I will probably also pursue a master’s degree, but I haven’t completely decided yet.
What are some of your summer plans?
I’m going to take SRJC classes this summer. I will also find time to explore more of Sonoma County because it’s beautiful and there are so many things to do here.
Does your university/college organize any fun events you’ve attended or are looking forward to?
Yes, they do! I enjoyed painting street murals for Earth Day to bring awareness to climate change. SRJC’s international student program has a lot of activities and celebrations throughout the year, including a welcome day where new students get to meet other new and continuing students. The international student club also offers a lot of fun field trips and events. We go to places around Sonoma County and San Francisco.
Have you traveled around the U.S.? What were some of your favorite places?
Yes, I’ve been to Seattle in Washington State and Miami, Florida.
What is one of your favorite memories from your time as a student?
I love to learn, so I study a lot. I participated in a symposium with my classmates and learned about sports injuries. It was a great way for me to actively learn and get to know my classmates better. I also like to experience new things and I enjoy hanging out with my friends and making new friends. For example, I went on a trip with my friend to Miami during spring break. It was super fun because I had never been there. I had fun with my friend, and I met new people.
Describe your experience in three words.
Unforgettable, fun, enthusiastic
What would you tell students who are considering studying in the USA?
Just do it! You will have great memories. Of course, you will need to talk to your family before you come. Ask yourself, “Why do I want to study in the USA?” It’s so much fun, but it’s expensive, especially the cost of living. “Would you like to experience a different culture?” It’s possible that the values and way of thinking are different from your culture. I find interacting with people of different cultures to be very interesting, but will you? Think about your future path carefully. I would also tell students who are planning to study in the USA to have experiences outside of the campus.
Santa Rosa Junior College
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