New academic and cultural experiences that make studying at HCC more fulfilling!
I have been in Tampa, Florida for seven months, and this is my second semester at Hillsborough Community College (HCC). I decided to come here to study after I got my bachelor’s degree in Japan because I had a desire to learn something new for my future career, as well as improve my English skills. I am now pursuing an AS degree in accounting.
Even though I only took one class in person and all other classes online last semester (due to the spread of Covid-19), I had a great academic experience at HCC. Of course, I was having a hard time getting used to the online courses at first, because I had never taken any self-paced classes before; however, all the professors are nice and caring, even though I was not able to see them in-person. I also had great discussions with my classmates, and we motivated each other to do well in our online courses.
I am still taking my classes mostly online this semester, which I actually found beneficial in terms of being able to learn on my own schedule and to develop an ability to have better time management and self-motivation.
Getting to know Tampa
Other than my academic experiences at HCC, I have been having a wonderful time exploring around Tampa and finding fun things to do all over Florida by visiting historic places and trying new food. One of my favorite spots so far is Sarasota, which is a city located an hour south of Tampa. What I like about it is that there are nice beaches to relax and a big shopping plaza called St. Armands Circle, where there are a lot of restaurants and stores. There are also historic sites in Sarasota, such as the Ringling Museum.
Since there are so many different cultures that reside in Florida, I have had opportunities to try different kinds of food from so many different countries. Some of my favorite types of food are Greek and Vietnamese, which I had not really tried in Japan because there is less diversity there. I never even thought I would like Greek food or Vietnamese food, but when I tried them for the first time, it totally blew my mind.
When I ate at those many different authentic restaurants, I felt like I was not in Florida. Because a lot of the restaurant patrons speak other languages, it always feels like I am in another country.
Enjoying my experience
All of these experiences that I have had here in Tampa have surely enriched my life while studying abroad. Everything here is very different from Japan — like the people, the way they drive, and the different stores. After seven months of living in Florida, there are still many things that I do not know and many places that I have never been. I am excited for more exploring! At the same time, of course, I will put all my effort to pursue my academic goals at HCC as an international student!
|Ayako Miyakoshi from Japan is pursuing an AS degree in accounting at Hillsborough Community College (HCC).
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