Eleven 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 2018.
Here are their reports and blogs of their research and daily life in New Zealand.
- Ms.Mana Matsumoto (a first-year student)
- Mr. Kaisei Hirano (a first-year student)
- Ms.Akiho Tanabe (a first-year student)
- Mr. Masato Ishio (a first-year student)
- Mr. Natsuki Kato (a first-year student)
- Mr. Taisei Kodama (a first-year student)
- Mr. Ippo Wakana (a first-year student)
- Mr, Takuya Sukegawa(a first-year student)
- Mr. Takumi Uda (a second-year student)
- Mr. Yushi Ogata (a second-year student)
- Mr. Masato Hidaka (a second-year student)
Grade during the program
◆Mana Matsumoto (a first-year student)
Through this program, I could change my mind about understanding different cultures and learning foreign languages. It is the first time of visiting oversea, there were so many things I could experience for three weeks. First, thanks to stay with a homestay family, I could understand the differences of culture in daily life. There were two children in my host family. and I often played with them. When I played the board game, they told me how to play it. I wasn't able to understand the rules of it well, but I enjoyed very much. My host parents were very kind people. They understood my poor English and told me how to get on bus and sightseeing spots in Hamilton.
In the Pathways College, I studied with students from over the world. In this class, there were more opportunities to talk with other people then the classes in Japan. At first, I struggled without being able to convey what I thought so well, but I gradually got used to it and enjoyed it. After school, I went out with my friends by bus. I enjoyed shopping and sightseeing everyday. Taking a bus and shopping was a very good experience for me.
Through this study abroad, I motivated to learn English. And, I want to visit many countries and know a lot of things.
◆Kaisei Hirano (a first-year student)
I wanted to improve my English, but I thought I would like to study abroad to touch different cultures.
Actually, Japan is different from NZ in many ways. For example, it is landscape of the city, climate, the time that sun set, meal, lifestyle and so on. It is natural, but there was no Japanese language anywhere. So I was very nervous because I was alone when I went shopping. Are there plastic bags? Cash or credit card payments? Despite the simple communication, it was difficult for me to buy something because I didn't know way shopping in NZ. I thought I would like to go back Japan until I get used to stay there. But, NZ is the nice country. Gradually the life in NZ changed from bad to nice. All the events were fresh and fun for me. When I went back Japan, I was even in a reverse homesickness.
There were a lot of opportunity that I had to tell about my ideas everyone. I naturally became to study English hard because I would like to express my ideas. Also, I was not just sitting and learning, but because I had time to learn English while playing games, I gradually lost my sense of resistance to English.
Because I studied in NZ for 3 weeks, I could feel various differences from Japan. I was at first wondering if I would study abroad. But I really think my choice was right. All of things was nice memories.
◆Akiho Tanabe (a first-year student)
I had studied in the Pathways College of University of Waikato that is in Hamilton, New Zealand for 3 weeks. And I had stayed in a host family while I was staying.
In the university, I took English class. All of my classmates were Japanese. So it was not difficult for me to contact with them. But it was a little bad luck. In the first for 2 weeks, our teacher was Adriana who is from Mexico. She taught us English with some games. Ms. Shazley taught us English on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday morning of last week. In her class, we had many opportunity to speak on public. It was great experience for me. In last 2 days, Ms. Lezy taught us.
After school, I did not do anything or did shopping, stayed cafe. In Hamilton, there are many shopping mall. For example, "Chart well", "The base", "Center place". So shopping was very fun for me. In cafe, I was asked my name from waitress or waiter. Because it was difficult for them to understand Japanese name, you should give your name by myself.
I feel that my English listening skill was improved. However not only that but also I could learn way to think that is not in Japan.
◆Masato Ishio (a first-year student)
Experiencing a lot of things, this study abroad program for three weeks is very good. I found the natural things in Japan are unnatural in NZ and the natural things in NZ are unnatural in Japan.
First, many people are accepted. People who come from various place live in NZ. For example Maori Europe Chinese and African people. There are a Chinese restaurant, Sushi the city. I think various culture are combined and these make NZ's culture. When the terrorist attack happened, I found people in NZ were praying and hug in church. I think people live regardless of national origin, creed.
Second, the convenience of Japanese public transportation. The bus in NZ did not come to at a punctual time. And sometimes IC card reader which is payment machine was out of order.（But sometimes the bus driver allowed me to take the bus for free ) Moreover there are not many buses. It was not very convenient.
◆Natsuki Kato (a first-year student)
The purposes of studying abroad in New Zealand were to improve my language skills and to experience different cultures and different lives. I could improve my language skills because of Waikato university classes and interaction with local people. I could experience different cultures and different lives because of living with my host family and interaction in sports with local people.
Everyone in my host family like sports, especially my host sisters likes swimming so much that they take part in the championship. I also like it, so I interacted with them and their friends in swimming competition.
◆Taisei Kodama (a first-year student)
I went to New Zealand for language study for three weeks through March 2nd to 23rd. The purpose of this study abroad was to improve language skills and to interact with different cultures. The reason is that I had never left Japan, so I wanted to see how much I could communicate outside Japan. As a result, I learned a lot more than the above. It is roughly divided into two.
First of all, there is no resistance in English. I have never thought I was good at English, and I felt some stress in reading, writing, listening and speaking using English. However, I realized that my attitude to English was wrong while living in NZ for three weeks. In the past, there was a section that I thought "It is important to use English not to make a mistake because English is evaluated." However, when I actually used English, I felt that the will to convey was more important than that. After I became to think so, I could enjoy communicating in English.
The other one is that there are many people in New Zealand. Fortunately, many people I met over there were very kind and kind people. Therefore, I was able to live in very comfortable. However, I got the malice by a person only once unfortunately. While I was looking for a souvenir in the tourist area, A clerk flipped the bird when I was leaving the shop. I was very shocked at that time because there was no such thing until then. I did not know exactly why he did that, but at that time I felt that I was in a favorable environment.
This study abroad program has taught me many new things. It was not only fun to live on the other country, but it was also good for me to study abroad for a short term.
◆Ippo Wakana (a first-year student)
I studied abroad for the first time. It was my first homestay and I was really nervous until I went to New Zealand. However, I arrived there and met my host family and spoke friendly. Furthermore, it was very kind of you to set up a nap time because there would be jet lag. Also, because there were many Japanese students at University of Waikato, I was able to become familiar with it immediately. In class, I belonged to the bottom class. The class was a lively and very bright class, and the classes were mainly activities, so I could enjoy talking classes and having fun. University of Waikato was very large, and every time I had lunch, I went to the pond near the cafe to eat. I always went somewhere on the weekend. There were places where I could not go because there were only two weekends. However, when I went to New Zealand, I was able to see the kiwi bird that I absolutely wanted to see. I also went to Auckland, Raglan and Farm. The first image was taken at the Farm of the host family's neighbor. It was a very spacious and pleasant place. Three weeks passed much earlier than I thought. I can not say that I would never say if I asked if I had left behind, but I was able to spend every day fulfilling. It was a very meaningful time.
My motivation for studying abroad has increased considerably. I want to maintain this and use it for my future life and study.
◆Takuya Sukegawa (a first-year student)
This is the first time to visit foreign countries since I have started to study English. I'm looking forward to finding whether my English makes sense or not. But I was shocked because I couldn't explain by using English. At the same time, I found we can communicate with people who talk different languages by using words or gesture. I had to find meanings that I came to New Zealand because I concerned that studying abroad may becoming just sightseeing.
We need to learn understanding ability and explaining ability by doing studying abroad. If you can communicate with someone, you have to completely understand the understanding and explaining abilities. The class in Waikato University is specialized in two abilities. It was hard for me to take a class because the class that I was belonged to was Advance.
Life in New Zealand
I think New Zealand is the best place for the Japanese to live in. In New Zealand, people drive on the left and there are many Japanese car. So I felt just like I'm in Japan. But the view of the city is different from Japanese one. The house in New Zealand which has a garden. The sidewalk is more spacious than Japanese one. I thought New Zealand is melting pot of races. There were many kinds of people. I recognized that New Zealand is multiracial nation.
I was fighting for homesickness. I can't imagine that I who wanted to go abroad became homesickness. The reason why I became homesickness is food and bath. These two elements of mine were suitable for Japanese style. I had yearned for a bowl of rice since three day of homestay. I scattered my mind by eating Japanese food in school cafeteria. I took shower in New Zealand. Homesick has been resolved day by day, but I felt that I still have a desire to go back to Japan early in my heart.
Learn by studying abroad
I recognized I'm Japanese by studying abroad. And I was able to learn how I was familiar with the Japanese living system. This experience helped me to think about my future. Until now, I had a shallow feeling, and I had a dream to work overseas in the future, but I could realize the difficulty of living abroad. It was a good opportunity to revisit how I use English in a globalizing world.
◆Takumi Uda (a second-year student)
I had been studying for a short-term at University of Waikato in New Zealand for three weeks.
There were a lot of Japanese at the university, and at first, I felt strange with speaking in English and couldn't speak very much. But everyone was talking in English and I could speak without discomfort. There was a class that teaches Japanese at the university, and I volunteered for it. The attitude of the students when learning Japanese was something I should learn from them, and I thought I want to learn English more.
My host family was very kind. My host mother spoke at a speed I can understand and helped me when I need to help. My host father talked a lot with me. Every day, the meal was delicious and my room was clean. So, I lived without any complaints. I think I was able to learn about different cultures while I lived with my host family.
For three weeks, I think I could take away the wall of non-Japanese. When I met non-Japanese in Japan, I thought that everything was different from Japanese. That was not true and I thought that they are friends who spends the same time. The days in New Zealand are very precious and irreplaceable experience.
◆Yushi Ogata (a second-year student)
I had studied abroad for three weeks as language training at Waikato University in New Zealand. The best harvest in this program is that I was able to change my sense of values greatly. I was able to realize the breadth of the world by having a valuable experience in the culture and custom of New Zealand that are different from Japan.
At Waikato University Pathways College, students were classified according to the English level of the international students. My class was Intermediate C. Although many Japanese students were enrolled in the class, I was able to study while being inspired by the class because the level of English was high. The content of the class was based on the lyrics of the song and differences in culture and customs, and there were many opportunities to present their own opinions. The library has many English books and movies, so it has a good environment to study English. Outside of university, I had to use English when shopping and sightseeing, so I was able to practice.
At homestay, at first I could not keep up with my host family's conversation, but thanks to a lot of time for my host to talk, I was able to understand most of the content of the talk in the last week.
Dinner starts from around 6 to 7 o'clock in the New Zealand family. That is early compared to Japan, and they had habit of going to bed at 10 o'clock. I had a daily conversation with my host family while I was in the home, so I was able to communicate in English.
This was my first time overseas. At first I was puzzled about living in an unfamiliar land, but I was confident in living abroad through this experience. I would like to use it to improve my awareness of learning English in the future.
◆Masato Hidaka (a second-year student)
I went to Waikato University Pathway College in NZ for three weeks! New Zealand is a nice country. The country is rich in nature and has a population of about 4 million. It was impressive that the culture of indigenous peoples such as Maori and the cultures of other emigrated countries coexisted well.
I did not get bored with the type of lessons that I had not received in Japan because I used electronic blackboards and mobile applications in the classes at Pathway College. Also, unlike Japanese classes, overseas classes were more flexible and I had more discussions than teaching. There was also an opportunity to interact with the students in the main subject, which further enhanced my motivation for English.
At my homestay, I had a good memory of having a meal with my host family and other international students in English. When I was free, they took me to the beach and walk spot on the beach. They were very kind to hear my poor English. After the class, I went shopping with my friends on a daily basis, and I visited Hamilton and Oakland on holidays. As I was able to experience the situation where only English was around me, I strongly felt that it was good to study abroad.
Finally, when I was a high school student, I was told by a teacher that "if you don't go to the place, you can not see some scenes there are". Perhaps the teacher said that as a metaphor. But I could recognize the meaning by participating in this program. The culture, people, and experiences that meet there gave me a new perspective. I could not obtain that without going there. I'm glad I could see this "invisible scenes". Let 's challenge !!