Studying at the University of Sydney helped me to develop a better understanding of my research interests. Each of the classes required at least 50 pages of reading a week and for all students to speak their opinions in class; it was a perfect environment to learn. The knowledge acquired from active participation in the study abroad program means I can now make a more significant contribution to my seminar discussions. Sydney, one of the most multicultural cities in the world, also provided opportunities to communicate with people of different backgrounds. Not only did I learn to be more tolerant toward different customs, but also to share Japanese culture with others. This understanding would be hard to acquire from living only in Japan. I appreciate this exchange program and the scholarship it provided me, and I recommend future students to do the same.
Thanks to the foundation I gained in my GIS courses, I could easily catch up with my studies and take more advanced courses at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM), where I studied abroad. In my studies, I was eager to learn about the environment in which the top decisions of world politics and economics are made, as well as taking advanced political science courses. It is for these reasons I chose to study in the United States at UWM. The courses that I have taken have broadened my mind regarding the world. Also, I was luckily enough to hear both the debates and campaigns of the presidential candidates during the election, when they visited UWM. I was also able to achieve 78 hours of volunteering at food pantries for homeless people, an international language center for refugees, and schools. These were eye-opening experiences that helped me to understand more about the society of the US and the world in general.
Studying at SJSU was challenging, but also very memorable. I took classes such as Event Planning, Advertising and PR. All the classes gave me a chance to work in a group. In the Event Planning class, our team worked together to have an alcohol awareness event. We went shop-to-shop to ask for donations, made ads and decorations, and then held the event itself. I also made the effort to join many activities outside classes. One of my favorites was the volleyball team, which had both local and international students participating. I was able to make many wonderful friends who helped me a lot, and I still keep in touch with them. Recently, some of them came to Japan and we met up in Tokyo. Everything I learned at SJSU was a great experience and it will definitely influence my career choice when it comes to job hunting, too.
I studied at the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) in Canada for four months as part of the OAS program. This was because I wanted the challenge of intensively studying abroad at university level. At UPEI, I could study a variety of subjects that interested me, including some not offered by GIS. In class, it was exciting to discuss and share opinions with people from Canada and other countries. The living environment was also good for my studies. Living in an on-campus residence, it was comfortable and convenient. On weekends, I spent my time with the friends I made in UPEI, or, participated in some activities the university organized for students. I appreciate the OAS program because it allowed me to expand my horizons through studying and experiencing a lot of new things in different fields.
My life in New Zealand provided many challenges. However, with the help of a supportive GIS staff I was able to overcome these and eventually have a wonderful time with new friends. It goes without saying that studying among the local students was often daunting, but the experiences with both kiwi and international students made it possible for me to develop intercultural communication skills and cultural awareness. I am very grateful that GIS offered me this invaluable opportunity.