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AshitaTomorrow

Meet the Students

Joining Express Yourself! 2018 in New York


The following were written in English by the students after they returned home in Japan. Some corrections on grammar and wording were made at Ashita-Tomorrow’s discretion.

◇ Thanks to Fujisaki-sensei and the Horace Mann students, I learned that it is important to listen to others’ opinions and to express what I think. Nothing happens while I am shy and silent. The American students would not hesitate to say what they want to say (they always have something to say!). Active participation in class activities would improve my communication skills.

◇ I was ashamed of my poor English. However, Mrs. Fujisaki kept telling me, “Make mistakes!” “Don’t be shy!” On the fourth day she said to me, “You are so different from the first day.” I found myself starting to speak up in the class.

◇ I started enjoying studying English much more than before. Also I found it was important to understand different cultures and values. I met many people from different backgrounds and saw many new things while I was in New York. The experience developed my personality and value. I’d like to study in US in the future.

◇ Horace Mann students helped me to improve my English pronunciation and to prepare my presentations. I learned many English expressions thanks to them.

◇ Horace Mann students have studied Japanese for only a couple of years, and their Japanese is very good and communicative. They are very determined and work hard to obtain their goals. I am now very motivated to study English and other subjects harder.

◇ Remembering lines in the play was challenging. The Horace Mann students and an Ashita-Tomorrow staff helped me practice, and I believed I did well at the performance. I also learned many English words and clauses, and how to be a good speaker.

◇ In Japan all the people speak Japanese. Most of us have the same historical and cultural background. However, America is very diversified in ethnicity, religion, culture, and even languages. In Ms. Simring’s class, I was surprised to see ten students (who helped us in the workshop) had extremely different backgrounds. I was impressed how they understand the differences with others and accept them.

◇ We had a wonderful time at Columbia University. Prof. Kawashima’s talk in English was very difficult to understand but I enjoyed it. I felt like as a student there. In the campus I saw a historical building, a library. There were inscriptions and statues of the famous names we learned in World History and Modern Social Studies classes. I was excited to observe the American history and culture right in front of me!

◇ Columbia University game me entirely different impression from Japanese university campuses I had visited. The Horace Mann alumni, who gave us a campus tour, told us they had enjoyed high school life and every day was exciting. They inspired me. I want to say the same when I graduate from high school. I will do my best to find a college where I really want to study.

◇ My host family gave me a never-forgetting experience. They don’t speak any Japanese. I had worried about my poor English. But they patiently and affectionately listened to me and tried to understand what I wanted to say. They took me to many places and gave me wonderful memories. Host sisters and I shared many interests. We couldn’t believe we had never met before. I didn’t’ want to leave because I had so much fun. I’ll definitely keep in touch them via Skype and WhatsApp.

◇ The host family took us to see “School of Rock.” I couldn’t understand most of English, but I was impressed. I understand why musicals have such a power to attract and move people even though you may not understand languages. My host brother and I became good friends by playing video games together. My gift from Japan was small and modest but the family showed genuine appreciation. On Saturday, we visited the Statue of Liberty and 911 Memorial. I experienced New York life, taking subways, etc. On Sunday morning before leaving for the airport, I went for a work with my host father. We discussed many things. It was a short time but a rich one. The family has a busy life. So I really appreciate to host us and to take care of us. I also thank Ashita-Tomorrow to have me meet this wonderful family.

◇ My host mother was always considerate and thought about my well-being. We made breakfast together, went to see a Broadway musical, and attend a birthday party of my host sister’s friend. We danced, sang karaoke and had a birthday cake. My host sister and I are of the same age. We have so many things to talk about. Her little sister wanted to come to Japan with me in my suitcase. How sweet and lovely! I cannot say enough how grateful I am.

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