Ms. Yui Takeda, a third year student (during the program) had returned from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, United States on the Mid-Term Overseas Study Programs for Academic Year 2014.
Here is her report and daily life in the United States.
Yui Takeda (a third-year student)
I studied at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology for 2 quarter. I left Japan on August 27. After winter quarter, I came back to Japan on March 9.
RHIT is a top ranked engineering college. The campus is located in Terre Haute, Indiana state. I remember that the winter was pretty cold. The temperature was 30 degree below zero sometimes, but the college life was really comfortable. My goal and purpose were to get credits, to exchange them, and to research for thesis. My research topic is cultural website customization. I needed to learn about other culture a lot.
I took 3 courses in each quarter. College English class was very difficult for me. I often had one-hour listening homework and long essay. Although I felt that my English skill was getting better, I failed this course. Python class was really interesting. I had never studied this programming language. I had a group project in Python and made the code to control a robot. Also, the professor was very nice. He gave me extra time to solve problems and taught me more slowly after the class, so I could get grade A in this course. It connected to my confidence. Totally, I got 12 credits at RHIT. I realized some difference from these courses. Each class had 50 minutes at RHIT. I felt that it was short time because we have 90 minutes at University of Aizu. All students at RHIT always focused on the class. Also, professors and students exchanged their opinions during the class. Japanese style of study is just sitting and listening during the class, so it was difficult for me. There was tutor program. Students helped our homework. They corrected my essay and talked with me to practice speaking every week. The program was really helpful. RHIT has comfortable environment for study.
When I arrived at RHIT, my housing was still in process. I had a homestay at a staff's house for a few weeks in fall quarter. After that, I met a student who was looking for a roommate. She was sweet, and I decided to stay with her. In Japan, one room was small, so I felt that the room was huge and comfortable. However, I needed to find a person who can drive me to school every day. The transportation from my house to RHIT was not so good. I moved to student dorm in winter quarter. I made a lot of friends in the dorm and did homework with them. I had never had experience a homestay, sharing room, and staying a student dorm. These were my first experience.
Also, I had a lot of fun after final exam. I had a chance to visit Chicago, New York City, and Florida with my friends. Each place had difference climate and view because the United States is huge. My favorite city is Chicago. Chicago was beautiful city.
After studying abroad, a lot of things were changed. I realized the importance of each class. I could have cultural and religious experience by staying long term. I had a chance to think about my future. I could improve my English skill. My TOEIC score was about 490 before I studied abroad, but I have 735 point now. I feel a huge change from the score. I am going to try toward a new goal. Before I arrived at RHIT, I was nervous. However, I forgot it soon because the college life was fun every day. Now, I'm really proud of my experience.