Eight students of University of Aizu (UoA) had three-weeks short-term Oversea Programs at the University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand on UoA's short-term Overseas Study Programs for Academic year 2017.
Here are their reports and blogs of their research and daily life in New Zealand.
- Ms. Sakurako Kimura (a first-year student) Blog
- Mr. Yuya Hoshi (a first-year student) Blog
- Mr. Kazuki Mori (a first-year student) Blog
- Ms. Rumina Agata (a second-year student) Blog
- Mr. Yuhei Nagai (a first-year student) Blog
- Mr. Daichi Yokota (a second-year student) Blog
- Mr. Ryusei Takano (a first-year student) Blog
- Mr. Sora Isobe (a first-year student) Blog
Grade during the program
Sakurako Kimura (a first-year student)
In this program, what I gained first is the stronger attraction to overseas. That is because I was able to actually touch a culture different from Japan, such as environment, life, people, as well as other languages such as English.
In the school, although the Japanese were conspicuous overall, students were replaced and my class was a good opportunity to learn with students from other countries such as China and Saudi Arabia. The content was also related to the differences in the cultures of each country. And there was more time for students to speak English with each other than the time teacher speaks to unilaterally. Besides the classes, there was a Japanese Class. I had the opportunity to communicate with the students learning Japanese locally, and I was also motivated to study English, looking at their enthusiastic efforts towards other languages.
It is a waste just staying home after school and on weekends. During the stay, we were blessed with the weather, so I went to the shopping mall and sightseeing spot almost every day. I could hear English from around during off-campus life as well. Also, I purchased tickets and went shopping in English, so I felt that these environments are precious things that I cannot experience in Japan.
In the homestay, my host mother gave me a conversation time at a speed that I could understand at the end of the day, and cared about me so I wouldn't feel inconvenience. In NZ, regarding food, clothing, life style, for example the morning starts early, and people and shops start to be crowded at around 7 o'clock, and on the contrary the living habit like going home before 18 o'clock is the basis. The staple food is potatoes and chicken, and I will not forget the surprise when the people ate those foods as they are for dinner on the first day. Such cultural differences were exciting.
I strongly believe that my first overseas experience was good with this idyllic, nature rich country and warm people. I would like to encourage myself to learn English by making use of my experience.
Yuya Hoshi (a first-year student)
I went to the University of Waikato pathways college for three weeks. I could experience a lot of valuable things in class and in Homestay.
We were split class by test, I became Upper Intermediate A class. In the class, there were many Saudi students who were teachers and many Japanese University students. Everyone's English ability was very high and I could learn high level English, so I was very satisfied. I had a chance to make a presentation, so I made a presentation about Great East Japan Earthquake to get other country's people to be interested in it. I could observe many things. I got a confident for the future. Also, there was a library for pathways college students. We could learn English for appropriate English book, sound, movie, and so on. Also, there were many events to communicate with local students in Waikato for example, sports day, assist for Japanese language class and English club, so I could communicate with many people. I had fulfilling days.
By experiencing overseas life for three weeks, I learned the culture difference and lifestyle differences between Japan and New Zealand. And by using English every time, I could start to speak English naturally. I think I was able to experience these things through only Homestay.
Kazuki Mori (a first-year student)
I joined overseas study program for about three weeks at Pathways College of Waikato in New Zealand. Going abroad was my first experience, but I was able to challenge freely with the support of the solid traveling procedures. In addition, scholarships were provided and the burden of study abroad expense was reduced. There are several advantages of short-term study abroad in New Zealand. One is to do a homestay. I think that you can know more about different cultures and deepen your understanding. I got an opportunity to have a chance to talk a lot of things with homestay family.
I think that I began to study naturally from my intention that I want to tell people something. I studied English for three weeks at a language school in the university. By taking the test on the first day, we were divided into classes suitable for our own ability. The picture below shows a class that matched my English ability and I think that it is an environment that is easy for the students to participate in actively as it is a small class of about 15 people. There was not only a lesson using advance textbooks but also a digression, so I was able to enjoy classes happily. Also, there were people from various countries in the class, and I was able to talk freely and have a very good experience.
Rumina Agata (a second-year student)
I went to study abroad to Waikato Pathways College at University of Waikato. First week, I could not understand conversation in English. I could not say something that I wanted to say. And I could not get used to living in New Zealand. But it was becoming fun to live in New Zealand because I talked to host family, teacher and non-Japanese people going to Waikato Pathways College.
And I experienced something that I did not experience in Japan. For example, I used an electronic blackboard, there is time when we could eat candy in the morning, and we watched a movie once a week. And we talked with groups and pairs in class more than Japanese class. Active learning is very flourishing. I learned asking teacher or friends with English is informative more than searching with portable phone when I want to know the meaning of a word.
Before applying for study abroad, I felt anxious. So I hesitated to join it. But I went through these experiences, and I think that joining study abroad is very a good thing. My consciousness was changed. And I think that I want to study English more and more.
Yuhei Nagai (a first-year student)
At Waikato University, English lessons were held in small classes with students who were from various countries. The lessons mainly consist of English communication and important grammati-cal expression. In particular, the content of communication in the group is the theme of each coun-try's culture and nature. And you can also understand different cultures with improving your speaking skills. We could enjoy our class and felt very comfortable because the class consists of a small number of people. In addition, there were many extracurricular activities, and after school you can interact with the students of Waikato University. There are many students from all over the world at Waikato University, so you can expect a deeper understanding from touching overseas culture.
At the homestay host family gently touched me, so I always asked them something easily. We often did sightseeing on Saturdays and Sundays. I often went out by high-speed bus with friends who studied abroad from Aizu University or students who are from other universities. There were also sightseeing tours that I could apply for at the university. When we wanted to book the high-speed buses tickets or tour tickets, we had to book them on the net in English. So I felt anxious and in-convenient at the beginning, but I got used immediately while repeating. Through three weeks homestay, I think that I enjoyed both classes at school and sightseeing on holidays. It was a very good experience for me.
Daichi Yokota (a second-yearr student)
I experienced various things through short-term study abroad to New Zealand this time.
I saw differences of culture just after arrival. There were many shocks suddenly, such as the difference in climate, the difference in transportation, the difference in how to use stuff in the house when we arrived at the homestay place. My host family warmly welcomed me who was still nervous. As soon as I gave a greeting with a smile, my host-family took me and showed me around the city. I certainly thought that if a foreign student comes to stay at my home, my family will not be able to be as gentle as them right after meeting for the first time. People who passed by on the way also greeted us and I was able to really feel the goodness of the people of New Zealand. To tell the truth, it was at least meal that I was in trouble while I was studying abroad. Unlike Japan, mainly foods in New Zealand are bread and potato, it was a little bit hard for me who usually eat rice. I wondered how many times I wanted to eat rice. Sometimes host mother serve rice for me, but it was different from Japanese rice and it was not good to be honest. Also, on weekdays, my host mother made a lunch box every day, but the contents were almost just snacks. To be honest, I thought that I wanted to eat something different, but I could not say that because host mother got up early in the morning and made it. I always thought that it was a good point of Japanese to consider the other people and also a bad point that I could not clearly express my opinion.
I was able to talk with people from various countries while attending Waikato University and I was really glad that I could learn a lot of differences of culture. I was able to experience various experiences with this short-term study abroad, and I thought that this memory will be a lifetime treasure. It was a short while, but thanks to the host families and the local people who took care of me, I had a great time.
Ryusei Takano (a first-year student)
In this study abroad, I got the courage to speak English although it was short period. I participated in volunteering for students studying Japanese, so I was able to have many exchanges with the students from Waikato University. In English class, although there were many Japanese students, most people have high English skills and I felt that I had to study English more. My teacher listened to me well in my childish English firmly and rephrased sentences in an easy way so that I could understand them well.
At home, host family was very easy to get familiar. The host father was interesting person who played with Lucas two years old child and taught soccer in the garden as soon as coming home. The host mother put on the CD of reading the picture book and put a Disney movie on with subtitles. Of course dishes were very delicious and she listened to my trivial daily conversation as well. When we talked about the name of next baby, it was very exciting and it was a pleasant dinner. The name is Maria Rita. I am very sad that I cannot see the baby because she plans to give birth in April, but since my host family will send me pictures, I am looking forward to seeing the baby on the pictures.
Sora Isobe (a first-year student)
I experienced a lot of things such as Culture Shock, all of the people speak English and so on.
First, New Zealand food is quite different from Japanese. Japan and the lots of East Asian people mainly eat rice, but almost kiwi mainly eat the food which made from flour, so Japanese will want to eat foods which made from rice. Sometime my host family made foods with rice but the rice was Indica rice so it tasted like I was eating bread. It was interesting.
Second, the difference of major sports. In Japan baseball and soccer are famous and broadcasted in Japanese TV program, but in New Zealand rugby and cricket are famous and broadcasted. In Japan rugby and cricket aren't almost broadcasted, so I was surprised. In Japan, baseball is more famous than cricket but in the world cricket is more famous than baseball.
If I hadn't gone to New Zealand, I couldn't have noticed. I could experience a lot even for only 3 weeks. I'll do my best from now on.