Ten students of University of Aizu (UoA) had three-weeks short-term Oversea Programs at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Indiana, USA on UoA's short-term Overseas Study Programs for Academic year 2013.
Here are their reports of their research and daily life in USA.
- Mr. Yuki Iguro (a second-year student)
- Mr. Masato Hashimoto (a second-year student)
- Mr. Kazuki Miura (a second-year student)
- Mr. Asaichiro Kazawa (a second-year student)
- Mr. Kotaro Maruyama (a first-year student)
- Mr. Masashi Yoshida (a first-year student)
- Ms. Tsubasa Yamauchi (a first-year student)
- Ms. Misato Morino (a second-year student)
- Mr. Tsubasa Watanabe (a first-year student)
- Ms. Emiri Takada (a first-year student)
- Grade during the program
The main purpose of my studying abroad 3 weeks in RHIT is to look at communicating from unusual point of view. Through communicating in different environment from Japan, I wanted to find the essence of communication or the hints how to improve it.
Within a limited time, I discovered many things and I felt it was rather long for me especially in the first week, before getting used to the new environment. From the first day I tried to converse with others. It was more difficult to keep conversation than to begin a talk. When I realized it, it became almost one-sided talking: I could do was to reply. However, by trying to communicate and by listening to conversations among students again and again, somehow I got hints of communication. One of my discoveries was on topics of conversation among RHIT students at cafeteria, that is, topics are mainly about common subjects for everyone. It is so simple, however, I realized the importance of it for the first time. Another discovery, was that when we start eating with a few friends, other classmates and friends join our group in a few minutes, and eventually, it became a group of about 20 people.
I was impressed with classes in RHIT, besides communication. Although classes progress rapidly and we were given a great deal of homework and exercise, almost all RHIT students completed them. Furthermore, I didn't find any students who were dozing in a class, but all students took a class eagerly. RHIT students' motivation to study was much higher than I expected which also increased my motivation and made me reconsider my future goal.
I accommodated myself in 1 week. From then, I could afford to enjoy college life. For example, I went to a concert on campus, and I took pictures of squirrels. The time passed much faster than I expected.
Looking back on my 3 weeks at RHIT, while I not only found answers to my first questions, I also found many things that I should do now and future. My study at RHIT is a precious experience and it will help me now and future.
I visited Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and stayed there for three weeks. This exchange program was based on buddy system, in which one aizu student and one rose student made a team and take the same classes together.
The classes I took were Japanese, Element of Electrical Engineering, Python Programming and Visual Arts in Civilization.
I thought all the classes at Rose are discussion type, and all the students were active in classes but it was my prejudice. Some professors spoke by himself during the class and not all the students answered the questions.
Facilities on campus were very good. It was so beautiful because there were forests and lakes like a park. So, I saw many squirrels and geese on campus.
There was also a big gym and a place where we can play pool. My favorite place was the space a hallway which had many tables, chairs, and electrical outlets. A lot of Rose students used laptop there including me.
There were many dormitories on campus and I stayed in one of them. My dormitory was clean, it looked like a hotel. It was in a double room, so I spent a lot of time there with my roommate. Inside of the dormitory was very warm. Each floor had a lobby where I could watch movies and play video games with my friends.
Through this study abroad program, I spent very good time. I could improve my English skill and find my weakness. At first I was worried about going abroad but now I am so glad that I had this opportunity. The purpose of this program was not to get credits. We can decide the purpose by ourselves. If you are interested in studying abroad, I recommend you to take this opportunity.
I was interested in other countries, and wanted to go to study abroad. Then, why didn't I go last year? The reason of that is the shortage of my courage. So, I had been to a driving school in my hometown for three weeks. Meanwhile, one of my friends who applied that program spent three weeks in Rose-Hulman. Hearing from him and watching the changes of his behavior made me regret.
Some months after, the new short term studying abroad program started. I applied, and I realized studying abroad.
English is the most serious problem. I had some classes in English at the University of Aizu, so I could understand classes at Rose-Hulman generally. The problem was in daily conversation. I didn't have chance to use English other than class. When I was talking with the people in Rose-Hulman, I was confused because I didn't know how to express or I have poor vocabulary. In addition, I couldn't follow them because they were just talking, not giving lecture explaining something. In the first week, I felt the weakness of my English ability keenly and I was afraid to communicate with them. However, I became to be able to understand what they said little by little after a week. I brush up my listening skill more because some students in Rose-Hulman showed me some movie and animation in English, and took me to a movie theater. As a result, I became to be able to watch a movie in English on the returning airplane which I didn't want to watch on the coming airplane. I became to talk little bit.
Communicating with professors and students in Rose-Hulman and watching their action made me think many things. The most impressive thing was their way to take classes and homeworks. There are many tables and chairs in various places in Rose-Hulman. Many of them are used by students during the day. Rose-Hulman has the 50 minutes lecture several times in a week, and some class has homework every time. I used to play during the day, and did the homework at the night before the due day. If I took a class in the United States, I would give up. I was impressed by them and I thought I have to change. There are many other things which changed my way of thinking, but I shall leave them out because it would be too long.
These three weeks at Rose-Hulman enabled me to enhance my English skill and to grow. I think I would have more tasks and face more difficult problem. I used to get scared at such things, but now I believe I can handle them well. The reason of it is that the three weeks at Rose-Hulman became my nourishment certainly. There is a saying "Go back to your roots", and my roots will be these three weeks. If I lose my heart, I go back to my roots and try again.
By the way, I think that I should have eaten more muffins in the caf? at Rose-Hulman. I'm thinking of going back to Rose-Hulman to eat muffins.
I applied for this a short term program because I met stimulating people at the University of Aizu. One person stayed in Canada in Working Holiday program for one year. Another person went around the world by bicycle. And international students who came to the University of Aizu were using the short term exchange program. They are very stimulating and global. So I thought "I want to see the world myself". And I decided to apply.
The aim of my short-term program is "To have foreigners know Japan". To that end, it was necessary for me to know Japan first. Therefore I decided to run through Japan by bicycle in the last summer vacation. I took photographs as much as possible and I became able to explain many places.
When I arrived at the overseas airport for the first time and I realized "I'm a foreigner now". I was so excited about it and I took a photograph. Then a guard who gradually approach me, said "Delete your picture!!" I was really scared it. It was an angry foreigner whom I met for the first time in a foreign country. But now I think it was a good experience.
The big difference from the last year's short-term program is "Buddy system". One RHIT student was assigned to one Aizu students. There was threatening air between me and my buddy since there was no good without getting communication because of my English was not enough at the begginng. But when I said "I'm sorry, I cannot catch up with you, will you talk more slowly?"he said "Of course. No,problem". And we began to have communications.
Next, about class. Classes which I took were mainly on economics and programming and design. About the former, the professor was very kind and taught the programming language to touch very plainly. About the latter, I could not catch up with professor's speaking so I could not understand. I felt that every class is the student participation type class and everybody was active every week.
When I met RHIT students at first contact, I often exchanged each time using Facebook, LINE. It is because I don't want to finish this relation. I want to continue to keep in touch with friend. When I separated "When you come to Japan, please contact me! I also will be back here." I'll study English very hard to meet friend. I think that I want the younger students to do studying abroad positively.
In this studying abroad, I went abroad for the first time. I struggled to apply my passport, insurance and change Yen to Dollar. Through the these new things, I thought it is import to try without helping from other people. If I ask other people, I can finish earlier. But trying by myself will be used on the other situation. I learned many thing and had many good opportunities about communicating in English. The students in Rose often ask me about Japanese place, food culture, and cartoon.
I have to answer about these questions without dictionary because I couldn't use it in America. So I tried to answer using my vocabulary and knowledge. I struggled to explain but it was good chance for me to practice to use my English. And students use casual English which I didn't learn in English classes so quickly. It was hard for me to hear at first. Through this studying abroad, I got used to hearing these English. And I learned that it is important to asking questions I don't know through living in America. Before studying abroad, I didn't know about American culture. If I don't ask about the facility, I'll not able to understand how to use it. In America, there are many things which I can't learn in Japan, and I enjoyed studying English. I want to go America again. Most important point, through this studying abroad, I could learn what importance to solve the problem by myself and try new things.
I'll never forget the experience what I learned and found at RHIT. First, the reason why I applied for this study abroad was that I want to develop my English skill and to know my English skill. I have never been to abroad, so I had a curiosity to other countries. Study abroad was short term but I thought it was good to know the culture of other countries. I feel that world will be more internationalized, so I want to be able to speak English well for getting a job.
What I prepared for study abroad was watching a movie in English without Japanese subtitle and reading English newspaper. I didn't like English. When I was watching a movie, I often got bored but I tried to keep watch them I could understand what movie say. Now, when I watch movie, I always watch in English only. When I read English newspaper, I always choose interesting article. I prepared for study abroad like this, so I could develop my English skill. I didn't study grammar or words because I wanted to like English first so I tried to enjoy English.
There were many things I experienced in Rose-Hulman Institute of technology. I could find many things and had many experiences. I was very nervous because it was first time to go to abroad but Rose student was very friendly and kind so I could enjoy living. I felt that the first week was not very fast because I couldn't set used to the different culture and time difference, but the second and the third week are fast. I couldn't understand what rose student said because they spoke very quickly. I noticed that I had better listening skill than before because I was set used to listening. Of course, I cannot listen English perfectly. The most difficult thing was speaking English. I wanted to express something but I couldn't say it in English many times. I tried to explain what couldn't speak much at RHIT. I had trained myself by speaking with internationalize students in Aizu but I suffered from speaking.
On weekdays, I want to lecture rooms form my apartment on campus and took some lecture. I took python, matlab, technical communication (techcom) and so on. In techcom, I studied how to write resume and cover letter. I didn't take all the classes because this study abroad was very short, I took part in a group in making IT products. Python can move robot, I was impressed by this lecture. I also took Japanese class and communicated with many rose students who were interest in Japan. I talked about Japan and taught Japanese in English. It was good experience. On weekend, our buddies took us to Indiana police, Chicago and so on. Indiana has many histories like Aizu. I want to way memorial hall and NBA. It was like a dream to watch NBA game. I had wonderful time. I also went to shopping mall, eating shop, Cloud gate and so on in Chicago so I could have a good time too.
I couldn't spend time as much I wanted to because it was my first time, but I had good experiences in Rose. I'll study English more and I want to go to abroad again. Next time, I want to not only develop my English skill but also learn IT skill at the same time.
I stayed at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology for three weeks. I had a great time, and I felt it was too short.
In Japan, there are some students who dozed or play with smartphone in the class. On the other hand, in Rose-Hulman, most students asked the question to professors. There were no students who doze. I think this is just how students should be. I want to imitate Rose-Hulman students. Not only students study hard, but also have fun. There is a custom to enjoy on Friday night in America. I think that American people is good at time management.
I realized that my English skills were too poor. I could not catch up with classes because I could not understand what a professor said. In addition, I could not tell my feeling well in English. It was hard for me, but it was a good opportunity to increase my motivation of studying English.
There was a buddy system in this program. Each student of University of Aizu has a buddy who is RHIT student. Our buddies were very kind. They helped us about everything. Sometimes, they gave us a plan of trip. I think that it was not able to spend a fun time without them.
For three weeks, I reconsidered my own self. It was really good time in America. I want to try to study abroad again, so I will study English harder, and I will do my best.
I stayed Rose-Hulman Institute Technology in America for three weeks. I learned many things, played and interacted with many people. And I found what I had to do.
When I was a high school student, my mother suggested me studying abroad. But I refused because I thought "I can't live in only-English environment!" However this time, I attended this program and went to America. The reason is that I wanted to change myself. I wanted to have some experiences which change my life. Some senior students who went to RHIT said "My world changed", which made me apply to this program.
As soon as I arrived at America, I knew how poor my English was. My buddy told me about RHIT and asked some questions, but I couldn't understand what she said even half of them. In the classes, professors spoke too fast, and I didn't know terminologies. It was very hard for me. Most of us could hear and understand native English after about one week, but I couldn't. In addition, I tried so hard to listen that, I forgot speak. I think it was too bad. Finally, I decided to train my speaking skill after I came back to Japan. I realized my English was really poor, but my motivation for English became stronger.
Everyone in RHIT was very kind. When they knew we were from Aizu, they said "Welcome to Rose!" and smiled. They took us dinner and had fun on holiday, and if we couldn't understand about lectures, they helped us. Our studying abroad could not be so wonderful without their helps. I think it was a good experience to interact with international students from various countries. They were from all over the world, with different cultures and languages. They spoke English fluently and communicated smoothly. I got motivation from them. I want to meet them again, and chat about many things, so I have to develop my English more.
Finally, you never lose anything by going abroad. Of course, you may find your weak points, but it will certainly make you grow. I will study English communication hard because I want to go to America again, and speak with my friends more in the future. And I will never forget anything I learned in this program and will make this experience as my nourishment to my life.
"Electro magnetic waves" is strong impression for me in the class I took. It is a thing such as electromagnetism to say in Japan. The lecture is difficult because seniors take it normally , but I feel interesting when I take electromagnetism in English. I lived in a student dormitory on the campus. Most students of Rose -Hulman are living in at one of the student dormitories. There is a space for theater room , foosball , and table tennis in my dormitory .I played them with them with my roommates and their friends their friends and roommates.
Three weeks in the US passed really quickly, but the people around me take me to various places, I was able to spend a very meaningful time .I saw the NBA game which the highest peak of basketball. It is the best memory for me. I felt that my English skill is still poor, but my motivation for English is rising. I had many wonderful encounters in this study abroad program. I appreciate these encounters.
Next time I meet them,I want to tell them what I am thinking with better English.
On my spring vacation, I visited Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Indiana to study and experience life in America. This was my first time to go and experience American University so at first I had a lot of worries but I'm happy that my short stay in RHIT turned out to be great.
First I'll talk about what I experienced in RHIT. I saw many students study in the hallways, and in class many students were asking questions. I noticed that students in America are much serious about their studies than students in Japan. I was surprised that there were no Japanese students despite of high percentage of exchange students from Asian countries such as Korea and China. My buddy was a junior student from Malaysia studying Electrical Engineering, and I took most of my classes with her. Since she was in different major and in different grade, I had some trouble understanding some of the classes, but I had fun in my programming class which we learned how to program using Python.
Not only in academic fields but I got to see many places using our weekends and spare time. On weekends, some of the buddies made plans to show us around. On first week, some of us visited local coffee shops and Laser Tag. On our second week, we visited Indianapolis on Saturday and Chicago on Sunday. It was my first time to go to Chicago for sightseeing.
My main goals of this exchange program are to become more spontaneous in speaking English, and to experience university life in America. I got to experience various new things in this shot time of period, but I think three week was too short for me to become as fluent as I used to be. In this program I noticed how low my English skills are. I still think that I need more practice on speaking in English, and I'm thinking of getting more in my junior year by going abroad for a full year in RHIT again if possible.