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▼Study Abroad - From WASEDA to the world -

From Waseda to the United States

Uchuta Hirose/Fifth year, School of Human Sciences
Jul 21, 2015

Concentrating on studies in a more rural environment than I had expected

I studied abroad at Coe College in Iowa in the United States. I chose this college for the reasons that it was a liberal arts college and I wanted to live in a rural area.

Iowa, the biggest corn producer in the United States, turned out to be more rural than I had expected. Although there was no urban splendor at Coe College, I was able to concentrate on my studies. Since it was a small college where all students could get to know each other, I was able to make friends with many American students. Classes were small and we had a close academic relationship with the professors. Therefore, I could proactively express my opinions.

A full range of sports facilities were available on campus, including pool tables, ping-pong tables, tennis courts, swimming pools, and a gymnasium. I often used these facilities. Also, movie DVDs were available for rent free of charge at the library. On the days I didn't have classes, I enjoyed watching movies with my friends.

During my study abroad, I encountered many difficulties both in life and in my studies. I had an especially difficult time making a presentation and submitting a 2,000-word essay every week. However, I also learned many things from my experience in the United States. Not only did I understand a non-Japanese culture better by experiencing American lifestyles and culture, but I also came to appreciate what's good about Japan. My experience with values different from my own broadened my perspective and enabled me to develop a more flexible way of thinking.

Experiences and impressions obtained from studying abroad vary from person to person. I hope this study abroad program can provide experiences that help students realize what they are not aware of in their lives in Japan and help them breakdown (in a good way) the values they have taken for granted.

Japanese students wore yukata in a Cultural Show event held for students from different countries to present their cultures.

20°C below zero in the winter; even soap bubbles and bananas freeze!
I was surprised that winters in Iowa are very cold, with temperatures falling to 20°C below zero every day. I have never experienced such cold weather in Japan. We had fun freezing soap bubbles and bananas.


Uchuta Hirose/Fifth year, School of Human Sciences