1. Why did you decide to study in the USA?
I was interested in learning other foreign cultures. Specifically, the US is mixed with many cultures. Also, I wanted to speak English fluently at the same time, I wanted to learn something in English.
2. How did you choose your program? Please mention such factors as location, reputation, special programs offered. What attracted you to your particular school? Why is it a special place?
I chose Alfred State College because the school that I went to prepare my study abroad was affiliated with the college. I heard from my advisor that Alfred State College has a nice service for international students. Also, it’s a little close to New York City but in countryside; that means that I can focus on study than in city.
3. What do you like best about studying here?
There are many leadership opportunities on campus. I’m working as an assistant at the international office, which I could plan and implement events and learn about leadership by actually performing as a leader.
4. What do you miss most about home?
Japanese food, my family, and my friends. I sometimes skype with my mother and friends to catch up.
5. How long have you been studying here? How has your English improved? How has this program helped you to handle future study at a U.S. university?
I’ve been here for two years. When I arrived here, my English was poor. I could hear, but it was hard for me to speak what I want to say in English. However, in many classes in business, I had many opportunities to practice and speak in front of people. That made me confident.
6. What was your biggest surprise about U.S. life and education?
American students voluntarily talk their opinion in the classes. In japan, most of time, people didn’t do that unless it’s mandatory when I was in high school.
7. ... your biggest disappointment?
I cannot do anything without car near my college. I’m from my city, Osaka in Japan and used to take public transportation all the time. Although there are bus services to grocery shopping, the college is in the middle of nowhere, so we always need a car to go to somewhere. It’s hard to travel.
8. How have you handled:
... language differences?
English speaking partner program on campus helped me to improve my English skills a lot. My international coordinator introduced me a native speaker, and we talked once a week. Also, I tried to talk to American students and make friends with them, so that I could learn and talk in English.
9. ... finances?
The tuition for international students is much more expensive than one for American sudents. So I work a lot on campus to help my mother pay tuition. I’ve been working as a housing assistant, an international office assistant, and a student work in the cafeteria.
10. ... adjusting to a different educational system?
There is much time to think and output by writing essay, working as a group, and doing presentations when I’m learning in the US. Compared to that, I feel like that I was always memorize terms in Japan.