Takahiro Yamauchi (a third-year student)

March. 4, 2018

Rose-Hulman Institute Technology Mid-Term Study Abroad Program

Final Report

From August 2017 to March 2018, I participated in the study abroad program at Rose-Hulman hosted by the University of Aizu. The reason why I decided to study abroad is that I had longed to experience real American culture and obtain enhanced engineering skills.

During the first few months, I struggled to get used to the life at Rose. The food at the cafeteria was, to be frank, not as good as what I expected. In addition, due to the heavy workload of all the classes I took, my sleep cycle often became irregular, which made it difficult to maintain my health condition.

Not only in my daily life but also in studying, did I struggle. Rose is a university where teamwork is valued highly. Many assignments are based on team work and it is not always that you would get a fluent American English speaker as your teammate. During my stay, it was not rare to be the only one with a different nationality. By the time I completed my program, I became able to cope with different English accents and personal values.

However, I must give credit to all of my friends I made during my stay at Rose, who helped me out both with my daily life and studying. Thanks to their help, I could manage to overcome all the hardships I faced. I was very happy that I could spend my last moments with my friends at Rose.

What I gained from my stay at Rose is a wide perspective of the world, the people, and myself. I had never felt that I was accepted by others in my life and had not be able to accept others as well. After gaining experience in working with people with different ideas or backgrounds, I became capable of accepting different people's ideas, personalities, and backgrounds. Things I learned at Rose will sure to be a treasure in my life.

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Takahiro Yamauchi (a third-year student)

Jan. 23, 2018

Rose-Hulman Institute Technology Mid-Term Study Abroad Program

Mid-term Report

During my junior year at the University of Aizu, I had decided to study at Rose-Hulman for half a year. As far as I know, at least for most of the young Japanese people, they feel uncomfortable going abroad. However, I've been watching movies and TV shows since I was younger and was familiar with American culture. The desire to actually seeing the unique, diverse people of America was one reason that pushed me forward to study abroad. In addition, I was eager to learn at one of the best universities in America and obtain practical skills required to work at an international field. Although my life at Rose was filled with excitement and great challenge, I had to overcome many trials and hardships that made me suffered a lot.

As a Japanese, a race that prefers simple flavors to their food, in general. It took me a while to get used to the American style dishes with thick flavor. In addition, since I was the type of person who had trouble talking to strangers, it made me over-stressed when I had to go to the professors or faculty staffs to talk about my problems. Since I had to explain every single thing in English, it increased the difficulty of communicating with others in addition to having a shy personality.

Not only for my daily life but also my academic life was also filled with trials. During my first quarter at Rose, I enrolled in a senior course and got disappointed in myself for my lack of both English skills and engineering skills. Although my stay at Rose was not an easy one, there were countless events that made me pleased. For example, I had multiple opportunities to gather around in a café with my friends and worked on the same project over a coffee. It was one of the most memorable moments in my life.

The best thing about staying at Rose was that I had the opportunity to come across people with different perspectives, people who I had never imagined to see inside Japan. Right before the winter break, I went to a bar not so far from Rose. There, I had an opportunity to hear what Rose students were suffering from in their daily lives. A student who had a double major was suffering from trying to fulfil both his academic life and relationship with friends, a Chinese student who just came to Rose and had trouble finding somebody comfortable talking with, a lesbian student who had a rough time after breaking up with her long time date. I realized that when comparing Rose students with Aizu students, there are almost no difference in the most fundamental part. However, the support provided by professors, faculty staffs, and the fact that all the students support each other allows Rose students to stand on top of the hill.

What I had gained from my stay at Rose was a wider perspective of the world, the people, and myself. I had never felt so accepted by others in my life and learned to accept other people as well. After gaining experience in working with people with different ideas or backgrounds, I was capable of accepting different ideas and perspectives, which is a critical skill as an engineer who works in a global environment. I have realized that although my skills as an engineer or my experiences in life is far from what Rose students have, I just have to keep trying to compensate for my lack or experience. Things I have learned at Rose will sure to be my treasure for the rest of my life.

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With friends of Rose-Hulman / Terre Haute City Hall