【Voices】 Summer Study Abroad

【Voices】 Summer Study Abroad

AY2015: Field Studies in British Cultural Participant: Masato Sasase
Location: University of Leeds

I was thinking that I wanted to study other subject in English by using the English ability I had gained through the English for Liberal Arts Program (ELA) . However, as I wanted to concentrate on the teacher-training course during each semester, I could only use the summer break to take the course I wanted. Accordingly, I participated in one of the summer programs, the Field Studies in British Cultural, at University of Leeds.

As the Study English Abroad (SEA) program is an English language training course, participants are treated as a foreign national who cannot speak English and accordingly local people talk to them slowly. On the other hand, as we learn academic English at this summer program, all students are treated as "those who can speak English." Therefore, it took an effort to follow the class.

I realized that it was very difficult to use English through the courses I took at University of Leeds, which are the "Electronic Music" and the "A History of Fear, 1500 - 1750." Despite that, I managed to complete the courses and I accordingly gained confidence. I could face the plan for life again through this program and I have come to think deeply about the future.

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AY2015: UC Summer Sessions Participant: Ayano Inai
Location: University of California, Berkeley

When I participated in this summer study abroad program and attended the class at Berkeley, I sometimes had a hard time following the class as we had many difficult assignments and discussions. However, looking back now, I felt that I had a very precious experience.

I was no good at expressing my opinions in the class and therefore I took courses given in English in the spring term at the sophomore year to practice it before I participated in the program. As a result, I could express my opinion in the class and deepen my learning at Berkeley. It is a shame if you just study passively although you are given an opportunity to study at Berkeley. Therefore, if you are interested in participating in this program, I would recommend you should actively express your opinions in the class.

I felt that a period of six weeks during the UC Summer Sessions was very long; however, looking back now, it seems like a moment.

Now, after completing the program, I can look at the education from different perspectives and I sincerely feel that I had a good experience. For those who wish to go to UC Berkeley, I wish you all the best in your study!

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AY2015: Korea Summer Program Participant: Yu Okada
Location: Korea University

The first purpose of my participation in the Korea Summer Program was to improve my English skill. I think I have achieved the purpose by talking to international students from other countries in English and attending the courses given in English.

The second purpose was to learn about science-related subjects in English. I took the physics and information science courses provided in English and learned about various science-related terms in English. I think it can be very useful in the study at ICU in the future.

The third purpose was to learn about Korean language and culture. I was able to get to know many Korean people and learn about the food culture and the history of Korea during my six-week stay, which was longer than just a sight-seeing trip. It cannot be said that the relationship between Japan and Korea is good; however, the best outcome of this program was I found out it is not true that all Korean people dislike Japanese people and vice versa, which seems trivial but important.

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AY2015: German Summer Program Participant: Natsuko Tanaka
Location: Free University of Berlin

The objective I set for this program was to acquire language skills and lead an independent life in a foreign country.

As for the acquisition of language skills, I have achieved significant results at class and through homestay experience. I had many practical opportunities such as group works or presentations at class and was exposed to German at home of the host family and therefore I had opportunities to use German throughout the day. Thanks to that, I got used to listening to German and I have got to be able to do shopping or have a simple conversation. Moreover, I communicated in English with friends I met at class, went out with them after class or conducted group activities. In addition to the German language course, I also took courses given in English and accordingly I was exposed to English almost every day. Therefore, I could practice English skills in addition to German skills. In this program, I think I was able to also achieve personal growth in terms of leading an independent life in addition to academic growth.

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AY2015: Hong Kong Summer Program Participant: Haruka Aoki
Location: The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Two courses I selected (Chinese Culture and Society/Chinese Foreign Policy) were both very challenging and I spent days I keenly realized the level difference with excellent students from all over the world. We had to give group presentations only at the second day of the course and do and submit substantial amount of reading/report each time. Thus, I had been struggling during the program. However, the both courses consisted of truly international students and exchanges with professors from overseas universities and students from all over the world were very exciting. I lamented the lack of English ability when I could not communicate my opinion as intended in discussions and was shocked by the results of examinations for which I was well-prepared and disappointed by the final assessment after I came back to Japan; however, in terms of the fact that I was exposed to the world top-class education and researches, I think I have had precious experience from five week intensive courses.

The period of five weeks feels like it's been a short while, but it actually was a long time. Although it was a short-term program, not everything was pleasant in life during the program and I often faced my own limits and hit the wall. However, I believe that the experience I gained by actually staying in a foreign country, going to university and seeing and hearing things can be significant advantages in my life.

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