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I took part in a new program going to The College of Richard Collyer and doing homestay from September to December last year. When I look back on it, I first think of many difficulties I faced such as doing loads of tasks and different perspectives I experienced. Although I sometimes felt like going back home in Japan, I made it through a tough time because my friends were there for me and helped me. On the contrary, I have made lots of precious memories through having a relaxed time with my host family and hanging out with my classmates.
I think what I have achieved the most is that I improved so much after four months. I made progress in all four skills needed in English; reading, writing, listening and speaking. Especially, it had become smoother having a conversation in English than before. I think this is because I got into the habit of thinking in English without translating into Japanese before I answer. Also, my vocabulary has increased dramatically through daily conversations I had during the homestay and school life. I tried hard to learn new words every day and I got quite used to various English, e.g., some strong accents and listening to someone talk fast. In addition, I became to take autonomy act. Since I only had three subjects, I had much more free time in the daytime than in Rikkyo School. Therefore, it was essential to manage my time of the study. I found it difficult at first, but I kept in mind to make plans to do my tasks. My teachers did not give me any exception and special treatment because I was an international student. I was asked to say my opinion and attend discussions in the class like others, and I had the same deadline of my tasks as they did. It was quite a hard work to do all the work I was given, which are researching and filling the worksheets in English, doing analysis on the topics and making Power Point slides and presenting my art works in a sketch book after making them. I even have stayed up all night once. After I got used to the routine, it became much easier to finish my homework. As I have put a lot of effort into every work I did, it has been a great pleasure to see good marks and comments I got from my teachers.
I have learned so many things that I cannot list. I think experiencing British culture and new perspectives changed my view to see things a lot. I enjoyed all the lessons and some of the subjects I took really fascinated me which I will keep learning for my future career. I strongly believe that this experience has broadened my horizons. I am going to keep challenging new things.