Study in Nelson—Mikako: I have 15 classmates. Actually, more than half are Japanese because many students came to NMIT from Obirin University. There are 8 Japanese (included me), 2 Colombians, 2 from Myanmar, 1 Syrian, 1 Vietnamese, and 1 Korean. Our teacher is a Kiwi and her name is Susan. She lived in Japan before, so she has friends in Japan and she went to Japan during the term holiday. After the holiday, she gave us Matcha KitKat. I’ve learnt a lot from Susan, but especially I think my writing skill has been improved the most. I learnt that good writing needs an introduction, some main bodies, and a conclusion. She always says “ Use relative clauses and present perfect!” And then I noticed I rarely used them. So I’ve been trying to use them. Sometimes we use some internet sites to practice listening. Then we take notes while listening. After that we tell what we heard to our pair student. By doing so, we can improve both listening and speaking skills. In class, I found my favorite site called elllo and sometimes I use it for self study. In addition, we make presentations. I’ve made 2 posters for presentations so far. I like drawing and making something so I really enjoy making a poster. Also we had a group presentation using PowerPoint. One of my group members does yoga, so we presented about yoga. We showed some yoga postures to our classmates. At the end of term, we went outside and had fun. We went to Rabbit Island and had a BBQ and another time we went to Cable Bay and had a potluck party.
Study in Vancouver—Ayano: I enjoy my study life. I am studying four types of English. I think they are very important for studying English. I especially like English literature. In this class, we can learn about English literature. We can find out about British authors and works that we don’t know. When we were first-year students, we borrowed books from the library as a reading practice. I think the results of that practice are now being demonstrated. I think it is good practice for everyone in the class to think about the emotions of the characters and predict the outcome. I would like to read more English literature myself. Also, we are often given presentations to do. As a public speaking practice, we often summarize what we talked about in pairs and explain it to the class in a short time. At first, I wasn’t good at speaking on the spot without preparing in advance. But now I’m getting used to it little by little and I try to speak in my own words even if the grammar is wrong. I want to be able to speak in public without being nervous. Sometimes we all discuss a topic together. This is a good time to hear, not only my opinions, but also other’s opinion,. There are only Japanese students in my class. At first, I didn’t like this all Japanese class, but now it’s very fun. We can talk about each other’s universities. I’m majoring in education in Japan, so it is good opportunity to talk about it with those who are like me. I’m happy to study at this university because there are so many things I couldn’t learn without studying abroad.
Study in Christchurch—Eriko: My school is bigger than my university in Japan and there are many kinds of students, but my school has no club. So, I have no opportunity to communicate with a lot of local people. It’s my only disappointment. My class has around 15 students. Most students are Japanese and Chinese, and two Cambodians. I like this class because I can talk with foreign people, Chinese people are interested in Japan and above all everyone is so kind to me. Also, I’m always impressed with their eagerness for English. So, I’d like to keep talking with them than taking class. I think I can practice speaking English when I talk with them because their English is easy to understand. Local people are still a little difficult to listen to. In my school, I can have many foreign friends and local friends too. I always try to talk to foreign people. When I communicate with them, I’m frustrated at not speaking English very well. However, I think I want to study more and it gives me more motivation. Now I enjoy hanging out with my friends at weekends. Thus, my school life is very fulfilling. I don’t want to go back to Japan!
Study in Winchester—Rinka: I’m writing about my classes in the UK. First of all, I’m talking about my classes and then I shall talk about my teachers. Finally, I want to talk about my fellow students. Firstly, is about classes. I have four different kinds of classes now and the length of class is two hours, so I felt it is so hard for me to take class at the beginning. However, as I’m taking classes, they became more interesting and exciting. I learned about authors from the UK, how to write a long essay, academic writing, and so on. Secondly, my all teachers are so kind and always teach us enthusiastically. I think it is good for me to speak with them in English. And my teacher said me that you have to chat in English—if you can do, your English will be much better than now. When I heard this, I felt it’s so important for me to try to use English in daily life. Finally, there are 13 Japanese people in my class. I thought I want to take class with local students for the first time, but now, I can change it depends on my efforts. If I want to improve my ability, I have to speak English more and more with my society members and flat mates. Also, I have a good relationship with the other Japanese students. It is a good opportunity to spend time and study here—I like Winchester!
Study in Vancouver—Rio: I’d like to write about my study life. My class was Level 2 listening and speaking class. There are 26 students in my class. They are Japanese, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese. The class focused on listening and speaking, so we had many activities to improve them. We always did warm-up at the beginning of the class. It’s fun and I could get along with my classmates by doing it. We had quizzes about vocabulary, grammar, listening and speaking more than once a week and it was hard for me. This was the first time for me to take the class with foreigners. It was very interesting. As for pronunciation, Japanese aren’t good at pronouncing “r” and Vietnamese aren’t good at doing “p”. Sometimes we couldn’t understand each other, but we tried to explain what we wanted to say. Besides, the cultural differences were interesting, especially in China—the traffic regulations were determined by license plates. I didn’t know it totally, so I was excited when I heard it. Also, my Chinese friend told me about the truth of the One-child policy and the protest demonstrations in Shanghai. I can learn not only English, but also the actual situation of foreign countries. I realized that my English studying was for paper tests like TOEIC and National Center Test for University Admission after I arrived in Canada. I can’t listen and speak English more than I think. While I’m talking with my host family, I can’t understand the words that I already knew because I haven’t memorized them by sound. It was shocking for me that I couldn’t understand them. In the class, my teacher often asked us about grammar and meanings of vocabularies. It’s hard for me to explain them in English even though I knew them in Japanese. Therefore, I decided to change the way of studying English. I memorize vocabulary by sound again and try to write the meanings in English when the vocabulary that I don’t know appears. Also, I listen to English radio and practice some listening exercises on the website every day. Talking with my host family is also very good to improve my speaking and listening skills. I think more and more that I want to improve my English and talk with my host family more since I came to Canada. Though learning English is fun, it’s tough. I’ll try my best.
Study in Christchurch—Sakura: ARA is such a big university for me. There are students from many different countries. At lunch time a lot of students gather in the common space and eat lunch together. I could make new friends there. I talk with them in English so I think I can improve English through that. I am taught English by some of them after school sometimes. At morning class, I learn difficult grammar. Sometimes I am shocked when I make many mistakes. I can learn detailed grammar so I feel I can spend a wonderful time. At afternoon class, I learn business English. There is so much new vocabulary and reading some sentences of business. It’s difficult for me to understand fast so I review contents I learn almost every day. Always the teacher gives students the time to practice talking in some business situation and discuss with classmates. I feel I can improve my English-speaking skills. In ARA, there are many Japanese who are close in age to me. They speak English very well, so I was surprised and shocked. I think I have to study English and practice speaking much more.
Study in Christchurch—Yuki: I have two classes, morning class and afternoon class. I am studying about grammar, listening, and speaking. There are about 6 Chinese, 8 Japanese, Cambodian, Thai, and Indian students. In the morning class, I am learning about grammar. Chinese people in my class are good at grammar. So, when I don’t understand the grammar, they always teach me. In addition, when we discuss topics, Chinese students have a lot of opinions, so they can keep speaking English for a long time. Also, they are interested in Japan. So, they often ask me ” How do you say ××× in Japanese?” So, I ask them ” How do you say ××× in your country?”. In addition, there are Japanese majors in my school. So, some foreigners can speak Japanese. This is good for me, because they teach me the words and phrases they often use in daily conversation. Also, they often invite me to hang out with them. Some people have a car and take me to some good places in Christchurch. This is a good opportunity to further improve my English. So, every weekend, I am going out with my classmates. I hope that my speaking skill will improve more, and this study abroad will be a beneficial experience for my life in the future.