Mr. Ryohei Suda, a first year student of the Master's Program of the Graduate School (during the program) had returned from his one-year research from August, 2012 at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Indiana, USA on the Mid-Term Overseas Study Programs for Academic Year 2012.
Here is his report on his research, internship and daily life in USA.
A regular report from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (January, 2013)
I went to Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (RHIT) for one year as an exchange student. The reason why I went for one year is so I could experience an entire academic year. RHIT is a top ranked undergraduate engineering school in the US, so I wanted to study in this high educational environment. Also, before this program, I had been there for three weeks by short-term study abroad program. Therefore, I already had some friends and sgot used to the campus. These two reasons are why I chose RHIT. During my study abroad, I had three main purposes: to get credits for exchanging with the University of Aizu, to improve English, and to intern in the US.
RHIT has a quarter system: Fall term, Winter Quarter, Spring Quarter, and Summer School. Because Summer School has only intensive classes, I was planning to intern instead of taking intensive classes in this quarter from the beginning. In other quarters, I took 3 classes respectively. You may think that 3 classes are only a few, but it was too much for me. Even ordinal RHIT students take 3 to 5 classes in one quarter because one subject is held 4 times in a week basically, and there are tons of homework. Since Fall Quarter was my first quarter, I focused on getting used to RHIT classes and improving my English. So, I took College English, which is for English as second language students. However, just this class was very hard, so I didn't have time to do other classes' homework. Unfortunately, I failed some credits in this quarter, but I could get all credits after this.
Maybe, RHIT's class policy, encouraging students to work together, contributed to get credits. My most difficult problem when facing assignments was my English skill. Group working helped me a lot by dividing our tasks. Mostly, I did programming, and my partners did writing reports. Also, my partners could teach me where I do not understand. To get an internship, I started job hunting from January. Then, luckily I got an offer in April from Rose-Hulman Ventures (RHV), which is a part of RHIT. (In fact, after the job offer, I noticed that I could not work any other places because of the restriction of my VISA status.) I worked there for almost 10 weeks from May. I was assigned to 3 projects: developing RHV's system, developing flue-flow analysis tool, and helping calibration of measurement tool. In one project, I had to do telephone meetings with a client weekly. I needed to say what I had done and to hear what the client wanted. This gave me experience communicating in real business. Also, my programming skill increased greatly.
Through this program, I achieved all three purposes. I learned the differences between RHIT and the University of Aizu, so I would like to feedback these to improve our university. Moreover, I experienced a lot of US culture, and it reminded me the importance of Japanese culture. I would like to learn not only foreign culture but also Japanese. What I experienced in this program must be useful in my future.