Six 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 2014.
Here are their reports of their research and daily life in New Zealand.
- Mr. T. A. (a first-year student)
- Mr. Yuji Ishizuka (a third-year student)
- Mr. Ryota Kanai (a second-year student)
- Ms. Ai Sakuma (a first-year student)
- Ms. Akari Harada (a second-year student)
- Mr. Yuta Watanabe (a fourth-year student)
Grade during the program
T. A. (a first-year student)
I went to the University of Waikato in New Zealand and study English for three weeks. It was end of summer and usually top temperature was 28 degree. So it was very comfortable.
I could see a sheep, horses and cattle grazing in the pasture. I picnicked at the sea with my host mother. New Zealand has plenty of very beautiful nature and I refreshed myself. I enjoyed sheep show and Maori culture. Kiwi bird hatched from his egg just 3 weeks ago was so lovely.
Overseas students get together and take classes in University of Waikato. That time was spring vacation, so a lot of Japanese students came to Waikato like me. Therefor all classmates were Japanese. I felt sad a little. Accordingly every day I talked to a person from other countries at lunch break or after school. I was able to make friends with some people and have exchanged e-mail.
The food was good. Mainly I had a potato and beef. I ate chicken and pork either once or twice. My favorite food is Maori potato which was red and quite sweet. There were a large number of Sushi shops. However it seemed that sushi roll is popular than hand-shaped that. As I expected, original sushi was sold.
Yuji Ishizuka (a third-year student)
I joined in the short term study abroad program because I had wanted to know my English skill at that time and different culture with my eyes. In my case, it was good opportunity to stay at University of Waikato three weeks. It changed my thought about various things.
I experienced homestay for the first time in this study abroad. There was a Chinese student and he had already stayed at my host family. I could get familiar with the host family thanks to him. I had got a bus to go to University, but sometimes I let five or more buses go because they had been so crowded. On another occasion I was talked to by people didn't know when I had been waiting for a bus and I was surprised. We talked about Japanese comics. These are a good memory now.
I studied English mainly this time in Waikato Pathways College. Students were in the class depending on their English ability for a class policy. We learned knowledge to be necessary in speaking English, which is grammar, a word, pronunciation, speaking, writing English including the listening. Especially, many classes were about pronunciation, speaking and writing English and they were discussion forms. As a result, I could talk with various foreign students and was able to express my thought better than I used to. At this time, I felt talking to other people with English is good method to improve one's English skills.
I touched New Zealand beautiful nature at various places with my host family, experienced the culture of Maori, watched a game of the rugby and host family's relatives gathered and ate lunch and dinner on the weekend. I was able to enjoy New Zealand. I felt lovingness of the family through homestay. Besides I live by myself and miss it, I felt my host family valued time for family.
It was very serious and uneasy to spend three weeks with other language at a strange place, but, finally, many fresh experiences and discoveries overcame them. However, I often felt regret more than confidence in this study abroad. On the other hand, I think it is not provided by living in Japan and it's very valuable. I want to change it into confidence without wasting it. If you are interested in study abroad, you should apply for a study abroad and it makes you grow.
Ryota Kanai (a second-year student)
It takes 15 hours to go to New Zealand from Japan. So we were tired from only going there.
We studied English in university and enjoyed homestay. But for language study abroad, there are so many Japanese, so it is not good.
However, I could learn about culture of New Zealand by participating in this study abroad program.
Waikato University provided some tour events, so we can participate in them. And we had plenty of free time, so we can go there if we want to.
In Hamilton, there is a museum, garden that collected from various countries, various country's restaurant.
Prices in New Zealand are higher than Japan. But public transportation is not expensive. So we don't have difficulty for money to go somewhere.
This study abroad was 3 weeks short, but I was satisfied.
Akari Harada (a second-year student)
I went to study abroad in University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand for three weeks.
I did a homestay during my stay in New Zealand. There was a Chinese student in my house. It was the first time that I went to study abroad and did a homestay, so I was nervous and I couldn't get familiar with my host family. But, my host family made many joke and friendly atmosphere. And they took me to shopping and they are very friendly, so my nerves feeling gradually softened. In addition, I and my host sister who is a Chinese student were close in age, so I could talk a lot with her while laughing in English and It became the good memory that we had a good time.
And I went to the language school called Path Way College at Waikato University. I took classes from 9 am to 2 pm. But If I took elective class, it ended at 4 pm. I had Intermediate English Class. There were 12~16 people in my class. We talked about what happened yesterday with our neighbor at the beginning of the class every day. We considered and discussed about some questions given in class with each neighbor many times. In addition, we change our seat every day in my class, so I could talked to everyone and I was able to make some good friends. They were very friendly, so I could communicate with them in English. Therefore, my English conversation ability improved.
I was thinking what I should do to improve my English conversation ability in this studying abroad program. Then I thought what most important is the strong intention to tell something to someone and want to know that person or share something what I'm interested in now. There were many things that I didn't know. For example I didn't know how to use credit card and get on bus. But as I didn't know how to do, I had to solve the problem by myself. So, my communication skill and activeness improved without even realizing. This studying abroad program became a very good experience for me. I want to make this experience useful for my study in the future.
Yuta Watanabe (a fourth-year student)
First I saw the information about this program at my University and felt this was so interesting and I would try to register. For 21 days from 21st February to 14th March 2015, I studied at the University of Waikato. When I first arrived at the host father's home I really didn't know what to expect and I was worried that everything would be too difficult, but all of the host family were really nice and I was able to settle into the daily life really quickly. I got a lot of experience including English language and how to live the life as New Zealand people. I took part in this program because I think it help my speaking and listening skills in English a lot. I was able to make new friends that I hope to keep in touch with for years to come. Finally, I hope that if there is another good Waikato program like this program, I would like to join it.