Q1. How long have you been at Hiroshima University?
A1. Since last year in October. So that's about seven months by now.
Q2. How long will you be staying here?
A2. I'll be staying until about mid-August after the term ends the 31st of July.
Q3. What are you studying here?
A3. Here, uh, they put me in the law faculty, but the majority of my studies are in Japanese language, culture, uh, as well as a few other classes in communication, film, et cetera.
Q4. What classes are you taking?
A4. I'm taking, um... intercultural communications with the graduate school, um... comparative linguistics between Japanese and English, a film seminar, a Japanese language course, and...peace and human rights.
Q5. Do you have a favorite class here?
A5. It would be...the peace and human rights, because we get a wide variety of speakers.
Q6. What university are you from?
A6. The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities campus, in Minnesota, United States of America.
Q7. And what are you studying there?
A7. International relations and Japanese. I'm a double major.
Q8. What's your favorite subject?
A8. Favorite subject? I think it's a little general but foreign languages are. Because, uh...it represents everything that opens up to you once you can comprehend a language. Then you have access to the people, you can delve deeper into the culture, the whole mentality of, uh...a certain group or nationality. And I think that's fascinating.
Q9. What's your best language?
A9. My best language is French. I've taken that for five years. So, I'm hoping that my Japanese gets there one day but, it's considerably more difficult than French, so...
Q10. What's hard about Japanese?
A10. The kanji, for one. The grammar is pretty tricky. And, also being coming from a place where there's so many regional dialects, it's kind of difficult to navigate your way through them sometimes. So, but , uh, all in all I think its just the fact that it beares hardly any resemblance at all to English so I don't really have a good starting point to go from. Where as there are a few ties that English and French share a few similar roots and what-not, but this one its entirely different so...
Q11. How much more will you study before you graduate?
A11. Since I will only be receiving a few credits for my work here, I would otherwise be a third year student but I need two more years of study to complete my degrees.
Q12. Why did you choose Japanese as your major?
A12. Because, uh...I had taken both Japanese and Chinese in high school, but I found more of a future, and I enjoyed Japanese considerably more. So I decided to go with it.
Q13. How about international relations?
A13. International relations, I've always had some kind of uh...a fascination with all things international, and...some of my biggest passions are traveling, meeting new people, having different kinds of cultural experiences as well, so I figured that would be the best way to combine my interests with a prospective career.
Q14. Do you belong to any student groups, or are you involved in any extra-curricular activities here or back at home?
A14. Here I belong to the soccer circle. But given the fact that there's hardly any@time to spend away from study back home, I'm not involved in anything there. But since last October I have been a member of the circle.
Q15. Tell me about a friend from Japan you have made here, somebody Japanese.
A15. Somebody Japanese, not George this time... umm... Let's see. I'll tell you about a friend named Hiroko. And I met her by chance in one of the computer labs, and she struck up a conversation with me, uh...in regards to how to spell a word so she could write to an English-speaking friend of hers. And from then, uh...we've experienced a lot. We've done some traveling together, and she's a remarkable person, and luckily she speaks English so well that I don't have to work on my awful Japanese with her. But, um..., no, we've got...we've established a great friendship, and I'm sure we'll stay friends long after I've left.
Q16. Are there any college friends you miss from your university back home?
A16. I miss them all to a degree. But the fact I'm having such a great time here it really discounts the... the whole uh...ideal that I'm missing back home. The fact that, uh...I'm enjoying this experience so much, it uh...it makes up for what I would be missing back home. So I do miss them, but luckily we can keep in touch through e-mail.
Q17. Tell me about one of those friends.
A17. One of my friends from back home, his name is Andy Thompson. I've known him since I was seven years old. He's studying at the University of Michigan now. Um...he majors in music, I believe music composition, but he could basically do anything he wants because he's a prodigy, I think. You name it, we... I think we get along so well because we have such varied interests. And we stimulate each other in a similar fashion where he's the kind of guy we can go around and joke with, have a serious conversation. Anything like that so I'd say he's my best friend from back home.