Public Relations Office March 21, 2013
Studying English in Canada for 100 Students a Year
Kwansei Gakuin University has been successfully operating a study abroad program for the past ten years; entitled the Sophomore Study English Abroad Program (SSEA) or “MASSIE (Mount Allison Sophomore Semester in English) ” program by Mount Allison University, conducted at the Mount Allison University Campus in Canada. Sending approximately 100 students each year, this program is conducted over a span of four months and was created to give KGU sophomore students the opportunity to live and study in an English environment.
The followings are essays written By KGU students who participated in the SSEA program in 2008.
Important things I noticed
Maki NAKAMURA, 2nd year student in the School of Humanities
My experience in Canada is the best memory in my life. This was my first trip abroad. It was more wonderful than I expected, and I could notice the difference between Mount Allison University (MTA) and KGU, such as studying and communication. These changed my mind in a good way.
First, Canadian people generally study as much as hang out. They are very serious in both of them. One of the first images in Canada was that Canadians are so crazy because, before starting the term, we had many parties almost every day. From Monday to Thursday, they concentrate on studying. When it came to the weekend, they often drink a lot and they go to the pub. In residence, there is big noise, voices, and people don’t sleep until midnight every weekend. I was surprised with their energy, but I could notice they actually study so hard that they hang out a lot. They study for a long time in their room and they can keep the balance between studying hanging out. I think it is a good way for students. In MTA, I was also given a lot of homework, as much as I have ever experienced. I couldn’t often have enough sleep.
I like English, but I’m not good at English, so it takes a long time to do assignments for me. It was hard to study English, but I was satisfied with my effort after I tried my best. When I was a KGU student, I studied only for the term exam. People often say that if university students don’t do things actively and study hard, they can’t learn many things. Actually I felt that in Japan because I was not so serious about studying. Since I came here, I changed the way of thinking. I have to study as much as I can when I have the time to study. Now, I can enjoy studying English. If I didn’t come here, I might not notice that. I will make sure to continue this way to study when I come back to Japan.
Second, communication in MTA made me happy. I was surprised that many people who I didn’t know greeted me and said “Hi! How are you?” I was very glad to talk with them. Compared to Canadians, Japanese don’t usually speak to people who are not acquaintances. When I go back to Japan, I want to speak to foreign people in Japan positively. Also, I was nervous when I spoke English. In the beginning here, I could hardly speak English. Then, especially my roommate and conversation partner made an effort to understand my English and, when I couldn’t understand their English, they told me it until I could understand.
In addition, I could realize the importance of my Canadian friends, my MASSIE friends and my family in Japan. Now, I’m supported by many people. I was happy to meet good friends in Canada. They are so kind for me. Also it is important for me to have MASSIE friends beside me. When I was in trouble, they helped me.
Finally, the best thing is that my family supported me to go abroad. I couldn’t come here without their help. I want to thank many people around me.
In conclusion, in Canada I could learn many things and my life in MTA had good effects. I came here not to study only English, but also to get various things. I felt it is important to make an effort and I thank people around me. I could notice it through the differences between MTA and KGU, such as studying and communication. The MASSIE program made wonderful memories for me. I will not be able to forget these good experiences in the future.
Yasushi TAKA, 2nd year student in the School of Humanities
“Mastery for service” is the motto of Kwansei Gakuin University. I had never thought about it seriously, but we experienced some volunteering in Canada and it was a good chance to think about the motto. I was looking forward to doing volunteer work just because I thought it would be a great opportunity to practice my English in society but, actually, I could get more than that through this work. I would like to write about what I did and how I felt by focusing on three of my volunteer activities; Drew Nursing Home, Marshview Middle School, and the Japanese Festival.
Drew Nursing Home was the first place where I volunteered in Canada. I expected that I could talk with a lot with people there but, actually, I couldn’t talk so much because many of them were very old and it seemed hard for some of them to say something. It was normal that I spoke to them and they didn’t say anything. It was a little sad but, when I said something and they smiled, I felt really happy.
I went to Marshview Middle School as a Japanese teacher, and taught a little bit about Japan and Japanese. I know that some MASSIE students have a dream to be an English teacher and I am also one of them, so it was a great experience especially for such students. I was surprised that the students are very flexible and they learned very quickly. Also, they were enjoying learning everything, so it was very fun to teach to them.
We held a Japanese Festival to introduce Japanese traditions. I introduced two games, quoits and wanage, which can be seen in many Japanese festivals. Also, other MASSIE students introduced many Japanese traditional things like the Kimono. We held it in Mount Allison University (MTA) to invite other students. Although the students were very busy studying because of final exams, many Canadian students came to know Japanese culture. I was glad to hear that they enjoyed it very much. Students in MTA always introduced us to Canadian culture, so I appreciated it and I also wanted to show our culture to them. I was very happy to be able to share our culture with them.
In conclusion, I noticed that when people are volunteering, even small things can make people happy. I don’t know how many times I felt happy during these volunteer activities. This experience made me think that to do volunteering is good not only for society but also for the people who do the volunteering. I believe that is one of the reasons why Kwansei Gakuin University has the motto, “Mastery for service”. It also helps us to broaden our horizons so, if I have a chance, I’d like to join many kinds of volunteer activities and learn many things.