現地校では3rd Quarter が終わり、いよいよ最終のFinal Quarter に突入し6月の学年末に向けて最終スパートとなる時期。一方日本では旅立ちの季節である3月。
Do you remember the first day of your new school? How did you feel?
Student A: When I started school in NY, I was very nervous. I was a 1st grader and I cried. But, Japanese friends in the class helped me a lot when I didn’t understand. On the 2nd day, I didn’t want to go to school and missed my mom. But I went to school every day because I knew I had to go to school. My mom said I had to go to school. And she bought me my favorite juice and it made me happy.
Student B: I went to Milton school for the first time. I was more excited, not nervous. The table setting was so different compared from Japanese school. I started in 2nd grade. I didn’t talk so much, but there was a boy that I could trust. So, I just kept following him everywhere and watched what he did.
Student C: My first day was online lesson because of COVID-19. Starting a new school and experiencing online lessons were both my first experience, so I was so nervous. But when I actually started going to school, I really enjoyed going to school. Everything was different from Japanese school. School had extra English curriculums and I enjoyed the atmosphere, which I felt like everyone was my family.
What was your greatest achievement in America?
Student D: Moving to the USA changed me. In Japan, I didn’t know how big the world was. After I came to NY, for example, every house in Harrison was so big and everyone had a big yard. The parks were big as well. It was very comfortable for me to live in NY. In Manhattan, there were many kinds of people from all over the world. They get together and live in one place. And I felt we all need to get along with each other.
Understanding the importance of the world was my biggest achievement.
Student E: I didn’t play baseball in Japan, so I played baseball in NY for the first time. What I learned was everything in English. Learning a new sport in a different language was awesome.
Also, I was outside almost every single day with my brother doing sports such as baseball and basketball. That was better than studying and half of my friends I have now are friends from playing sports.
Student F: I could go to school every day and make many friends, and I could pass Eiken 2. They are all my big achievements! Now, I am going back to Japan. And I’m not so nervous about going back to Japanese school because I started Japanese weekend school in America after 2nd grade. I love American school! American school has more fun events like Halloween and Valentine’s Day. I will miss American school.
What is your advice to people who come from Japan or other countries?
Student G: If you can, you can study English before they come to America. If you can speak a little bit of English in school, it will be more fun to go to school. It’s also fun to talk to American friends. American friends are so friendly. People are friendly and kind in this country. And don’t be shy to ask when you don’t know and talk a little bit louder so that everyone in the class can hear your voice. If you don’t speak loud enough, they might just not hear you! Anyway, play and enjoy!
Student H: Do what you want to do! You want to think by yourself so that you will be more confident when you go back to Japan. Your experience in America will give you a new opportunity for your future.
Student I: You don’t have to worry about communicating with American people so much. When I visited another local school and took classes with them one day, the American students tried hard to understand me. They even used Google translate to try to communicate with me. It made me happy. If we all want to understand each other’s hearts, even though we can’t understand perfect language, we can still be friends. Just keep your mind open.
Student J: Just don’t worry about English. You will understand what they are doing and saying by watching and hearing. Don’t stay inside all the time, go outside. Some American houses have basketball hoops and you can play with them and sometimes they would invite you inside their house and you can become their friends. Reading and writing practice help, too, but talking with friendly American kids can teach you better English. They talk a lot!