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Japanese students and KU-SGU

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*Study Abroad First Step Program in New Zealand*
School of Health Sciences, College of Medical, Pharmaceutical and Health Sciences

NISHITA RIKA

From February 22 to March 15, I took part in the First Step Program in New Zealand. In this program, we did homestay in Hamilton, which is the fourth biggest city in New Zealand, and we went to Waikato Pathway College in Waikato University to study English. In this report, I would like to introduce what I learned there.

Waikato University is larger than I expected and there were many facilities such as café, pharmacy, gym and so on. The number of students in classes were small and each student allocated to a certain class based on our English skill, so we could take the class that suits our own level. In my class, students usually worked in groups and taught by textbooks. Besides that, we had time to talk with classmates and do some activities such as games, so it was very enjoyable. After school, English club was held. That club activity is for international students at Waikato Pathway College to have an opportunity to talk with local students of Waikato University. It was such a beneficial time for me.

The most impressive thing of this program was three-week homestay experience. Before I went to New Zealand, I was worried whether I could tell my host family what I wanted to say, but my host mother listened to me carefully and taught me proper pronunciation and the difference between similar words. By talking with her, I could improve my English skill of listening and speaking and it led me communicate with people in English without hesitation. Also through homestay, I could experience the culture and lifestyle of New Zealand and could understand other culture deeply.

What I learned during this program is diversity of culture. New Zealand is famous for one of multiethnic countries. There are many people from other countries and Maori, who are indigenous people in New Zealand. By understanding different cultures from Japan, I could expand my view and it was a great experience for me in considering my future.

Finally, I would like to thank my host family, teachers and staff of Kanazawa University and Waikato University, my friends and my family who helped me to take part in this New Zealand program.

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