Greetings from California. I met with Nozomi today and I'd like to share her experience at UCR with you. Here's a short interview:
Me: How long have you been studying at UCR?
Nozomi: I've been here for five months and I really enjoy studying here. I'll be here until March of 2011.
Me: So, are you satisfied with the English and homestay program here?
N: Yes, since I came to America I feel that my English has been improving quite fast.
Me: Do you mean that in Japan your English was not improving?
N: I don't mean that, but here I have to speak English all day and all my courses are in English, too. It's the environment.
Me: I see. Does that mean that your TOEIC score has improved a lot, too?
N: When I was in Japan, my score was low and even though I studied hard, it improved just a little, but since I came here, I feel I studied even more than when I was in Japan, so I could improve my skills and score more.
Me: I think that what you studied at JIU for one year gave you the base for your studies at UCR and that's why you have improved so much.
N: I think so, too. When I was in Japan I learned the fundamentals of English, so that helped my English a lot.
Me: So, do you meet with the Resident Director, Teramoto-sensei, very often?
N: Yes, I often go to his office and we talk about my homestay situation, my life in America, and my English. He always gives me advice. He has studied in Canada himself and has a lot of experience as a foreign student, too. So, it's good to have him as the Director.
Me: I'm very glad to hear that. So, please tell us about your host family.
N: I really like them. There are three people and my host mother likes talking, so she has helped me improve my personality and also my speaking skills. They always take good care of me and show me around as often as they can. I really appreciate them and I'm grateful I am staying with them.
Me: That is great. You are lucky you are getting along so well with them. I hope they'll be able to visit you in Japan one day.
N: I hope so, too. If they come to Japan, I will show them around. I'd also like to invite them to my hometown in Gunma.
Me: I certainly hope they'll be able to go.