【Voices】 Study Abroad

【Voices】 Study Abroad


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AY2015‒2016 exchange program participant: Yoko Ono
Location:The University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong, China)

Studying abroad as part of the exchange program has turned out to be an invaluable experience in my life. I gained three things from this experience.

The first point is that my understanding of China deepened through classes. Although my study abroad destination was in the University of Hong Kong, all classes except for the Chinese language courses were taught in English. About 50% of the marketing class comprised of Hong Kongers and Chinese, with the rest made up of foreign students including those from the U.S. and Europe. We together carried out case studies of various companies including McDonald's, KFC, Haier and Huawei regarding the Chinese strategies of foreign-capital companies as well as the overseas strategies of Chinese companies. That class, with the students discussing the companies in various countries in the world mixed with the voices of the local students, I believe, was a valuable experience you can have only when you are studying abroad.

The second point is that I was able to study with friends with diverse background from countries around the world. We talked about various things―what young people in my age group around the world are thinking, which paths they are going to pursue and what images they have about their own countries and Japan―and it deepened our mutual understanding.

The third point is that I was able to give shape to my goal through the experience of studying abroad. As I have described, I was inspired so much as I interacted with students in my age group from around the world, and those who were especially inspiring me were friends from Asian countries. I felt the friends around me were far superior to me and was impressed by the amount of effort they have put in. These experiences made me want to become a Japanese who can prove her mettle on the global stage in the future.

The world is way bigger than I had thought and society is made up of the various passions of various people. The exchange program made me realize this obvious fact, and I faced myself and was able to think about my future. I believe that my experience is attributable to the fact that I studied in Hong Kong, a major city in Asia, instead of an English-speaking country, so I hope those of you who are considering studying abroad to look into studying in a non-English-speaking country as well.


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AY2014-2015: Exchange Program Participant: Aiko Saito
Location: The University of Sheffield (U.K.)

The University of Sheffield is a famous university in the U.K. and attracts excellent students from all over the world. Particularly, many of students from European countries speak English whose level is not inferior to that of native English speakers and actively attended seminars. Seeing them like that, I was often disappointed in myself. Despite that, I managed to go to university to take the class every day, thanks to lively lectures given by professors and comfortable learning environment. Owing to such supports, I was able to make the learning experience at the University of Sheffield more fulfilling without giving it up halfway through. Moreover, I often heard other students saying "Give it a go!" or "Get involved!". They take challenges or give it a try anyway and think what to do later if they fail and thus their actions are simple but bold. There were many things I have learned from them and I have got to try to challenge new things without hesitation.

Looking back now, approximately one year I spent at the University of Sheffield seemed the longest year of my life. There are many things, such as English skills, expenses and job hunting, that you have to consider in planning of the study abroad. I can fully understand your hesitation; however, I personally recommend you to challenge studying abroad if circumstances permit.

ICU has exchange agreements with many universities from all over the world and accordingly students at ICU have more opportunities of studying abroad than students of other universities. Therefore, I hope you can take advantage of such opportunities to make your campus life worthwhile and fulfilling.

Other Voices

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