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My Study Abroad Experience in Oklahoma

With exchange students.png
Name: Yuri Yamamoto
English Education Course (Undergraduate)
Study Abroad Period: August 2022 - May 2023
Host University: Oklahoma State University, USA

1. Description of the university

I studied at Oklahoma State University for a year. The main campus in Stillwater is huge and almost all faculties are located there. There are many international students, and you can often hear various languages other than English when you walk around the campus. There are so many options for student organizations and club activities there, and I joined the wind ensemble and played the double bass. The atmosphere of the college is very open and each student enjoys doing what they want to do. There is a huge football stadium on campus too, and the people in Stillwater come alive with football games during the fall semester!

2. Studying at the university

With a roommate.pngThere is a big library called Edmond Law Library on campus and I used to go there to study almost every day. There is a building called the Student Union that has cafes, restaurants, and public spaces, so I often studied there with friends while eating snacks too.

I took four classes per semester. I could not decide what classes I would take quickly because there were so many subjects that I could only study here, such as religion, tourism, and American Indian studies. I was very thankful that all my teachers understood I was an international student and were very supportive and caring. I also considered which classes to take so that my schedule would not conflict with the time for weekly rehearsals of the wind ensemble.

3. What I learned from my experience

I will talk about the main two things I got through my study abroad experience.

The first is the ability to adapt to different cultures. I spent a year with a British roommate and interacted not only with Americans but also with exchange students from various other countries including Germany, Kazakhstan, Korea, and Mexico. I got to know many different ways of thinking and perspectives that I had never had before and also realized there is more than one answer in many situations. It was sometimes difficult for me to accept different ways of thinking and acting from my own. However, by experiencing such things that I had never experienced in Japan for a long period of time, I gradually became less resistant to accepting other cultures and was able to understand them as different from my own culture.

Second is the courage to try new things by myself. In addition to studying, I tried many things by myself such as joining a wind ensemble and performing in concerts, participating in Native American events, and working with other international students to complete a signboard in a homecoming event. It was difficult to balance classes with these activities, but I am so glad I tried them. I gained the courage to take on challenges that I could not have gained without trying and to jump into new environments without fear.

With Pistol Pete.png4. Advice for those who considering studying abroad

There are many things to think about and plan before you study abroad such as the teaching practice schedules, job hunting, and graduation date so I guess many people may hesitate to take action for studying abroad. However, the study abroad experience will be invaluable and give you a lot of new perspectives on your future.

Also, it gives you the opportunity to meet new people who have diverse cultures and backgrounds and to reconsider your own values. If you are interested in studying abroad even a little, I hope you will have the courage to try and have a great experience you will never experience in Japan!

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