Study abroad program
At school, I was preparing to apply for the study abroad program. I attended talks and meetings with organizers and students who had done the same program and met with exchange students from abroad.
Among the choice of schools, there were universities such as the University of Southern California, the University of Oregon, Chicago University, Georgetown University, and SOAS University of London. There were also Claremont MacKenna College and Occidental College, which I learned were “Liberal Arts.” I didn’t have much knowledge of schools in the U.S. other than a few Ivy League universities everyone had heard of. The program organizer at Waseda explained that the Liberal Arts schools offered general studies across subjects, and classes were usually small, up to 30 students, so that the lecturers could pay attention to each student. They strongly recommended Liberal Arts colleges for Waseda students who had never lived in English-speaking countries because of the benefits of the curriculum format.
I was already struggling with business studies in my native tongue, so I couldn’t imagine studying them in a foreign language. The arts and humanities studies offered at Liberal Arts colleges were appealing to me as the start of my worldly endeavor before returning to finish business studies at Waseda.
Occidental College in California accepted several Waseda students every year, and Waseda received as many from them. I befriended with the Oxy students, who were intelligent and kind, and many were Asian Americans. I felt comfortable knowing there’d be not only many students from Waseda with whom we could support each other, but also local students who knew me and whom I liked.