Kana Meguro, Japan
Waseda University, Japan
2007-2008 Academic Year
Areas of Study: Education, Child Development and Psychology
My expectations were to have a totally different experience. I wanted to improve my English and study in an American education system with small classes. My expectations were met because my classes were small and my professors were really supportive.
I enjoyed interacting with totally different people. I learned that you can really become friends with people from different backgrounds who value different things. In Japan I was helping the international students studying there, but it is different because I was part of the majority. I think I’ll interact with the international students in a different way when I go home because of my experience here.
I learned in psychology that people can’t help but think that their own culture is right and that other cultures are wrong. And I kind of agreed with that. There are some aspects of other cultures I just couldn’t understand. If something is strange or awkward, you can write down your stories in a journal. Because you might think you are having a bad day, but then when you look back, you will realize that there is much to appreciate.
Before I came here, I thought I would be able to change all the things I didn’t like about myself because of the different environment. However, you are you. You can’t go somewhere and expect to be a different person because the environment is different. In America if you have something new that you want to do, you should jump in and do it. At the same time I would say to take it easy. You don’t have to be a totally different person or feel forced to do something just because you are here.
If I came back to Beloit I wouldn’t do anything differently. This is because I learned that we are all who we are. I don’t have that many regrets about my experience. I would do the same things again: study and hang out with friends.
My favorite word is appreciation.