This week I interviewed Kanan Yamaguchi, a Japanese student who studies there. She is a freshman of 2017. As an international student, she chooses Chinese language as her foreign language option. I know her in her first semester as her Chinese peer learning tutor. As a “new” international student in American, she expresses joy, freshness and relentless learning.
“I’ve got a lot of good experiences here. To give an example, I really enjoyed homecoming weekend, I’ve never had this kind of experience before. And I feel happy when people are nice and welcoming.”
From talking to her, the biggest impression on me is the different approaches between Japan and USA in education. It is not exaggeration to say that children from Asia suffer a storm from their primary school to high school. They are studying to prepare for exams. After they arrive in the USA, they begin to experience a revolution in education and learning.
“Looking back at my college life in America so far, I think the biggest difference would be how a college student study. In Japan, actually, I think in all Asian countries, once you get into college, it will be easy to graduate. But here, not only exams but also you are required to work really hard on the assignment and other projects.”
By now half a semester has gone, Kanan sometimes feels at a loss or unable to cope with all tasks. “The hardest time was when I was being too lazy, didn’t start doing homework until the last minute and had to stay up late to finish it even though I was tired. I really felt I should do time management better.”
Talking to the newly admitted Kanan, I cannot help recalling four years ago when I first arrived here to study. The four years I have experienced all kinds of things, and keep adjusting myself to meet challenges. So have you find what overseas education means to you?