A year after attending a university in Tokyo, I applied for an overseas exchange program, which I had dreamed of since high school. Aiming to improve my English, I chose Newcastle University in the United Kingdom from among the many universities in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia. I didn’t even know at the time that this would be a big life-changing event.
I was nervous in the beginning
Let’s go to UK!!
Newcastle, England, is located near Scotland in the north of England. At that time, I was a 19-year-old little girl who spent 18 years in Hokkaido, moved to Tokyo and went to college for a year. She was a pure Japanese, called “pure Japan”, who lived abroad and had little contact with foreigners. However, all the university classes I attended in Tokyo were in English, so I wasn’t completely immune to English. One summer, I got off at the airport in London and took a train for about 3 hours to Newcastle, where I was studying abroad.
Conversation doesn’t work!!
From this moment on, I will betray all conventional wisdom. First, I picked up a taxi from the station to the university dormitory, but I couldn’t understand what the driver said. For the time being, I had a piece of paper with the name and map of the dormitory on it, so I managed to arrive at the dormitory, but I’ve never been so anxious about taking a taxi alone. According to the information sent in advance from the dormitory, please go to the reception desk to get the room key and receive instructions. It’s a relief to arrive at the reception. .. .. Instead, the receptionist talked to me, but I couldn’t understand what he was saying! Did you come to an area that is not English-speaking? .. .. While thinking about strange things, I desperately listened to the instructions. I was given a dormitory guide, a key, and 10 condoms. I don’t understand English, and suddenly I was given a condom (with a serious look), and I was too worried about what was waiting for me for the next year. It was the start of my Newcastle life.
After recognizing “It’s English”
Acquiring English was difficult
It took about half a year since then. Until I can recognize the English here as English first lol. Newcastle’s English is one of the most accentuated words in England, as it has the name Geordie English. Now that I have enough English ability in everyday conversation and business scenes, when I listen to Newcastle’s English for the first time in a while, my ears become tense and I can’t hear it unless I’m desperate. To be honest, it’s still difficult to understand. .. .. There is a beautiful person named Cheryl Cole, a famous singer and TV personality from Newcastle, so please search a little and listen to her English once. On TV, she’s probably being careful and easy to understand. When it comes to conversations between locals, it doesn’t sound like English. I loved Newcastle, but I really struggled to understand it honestly. .. However, in this way, I gradually got used to English and life, made friends little by little, and became able to talk with people from various countries, and the shadow of pure Japan gradually disappeared.
Last half year
I think I did well
It was hard to keep up with the class until the end. In particular, the majority of English classes are fairly academic in content, such as anthropology. It wasn’t such a big class with about 20 people, but everyone around me was British except myself. If you don’t understand the meaning of the professor’s instructions, you can’t understand what your classmates are saying in the discussion. It was really hard because I was the only one who couldn’t understand because of language problems. Originally, I was the type who took classes properly and studied properly, so I never dropped credits in Japan, but I did. It was a disappointing experience that I was motivated but couldn’t understand the content due to language problems. But by that time, I was able to make friends from different countries, learn about the ideas of people of different nationalities, and lead an exciting life every day. When I was able to do things that I hadn’t thought of when I was in Japan, I thought I was able to grow up.
You don’t have to be afraid
Studying abroad, especially in the English-speaking world, has become a commonplace in Japan. However, each person can experience studying abroad. The more you go outside, the more things happen. A night when I was happy to be talked to by a cool Englishman and couldn’t sleep, lunch time when I was excited to call a Japanese friend after giving a speech in English, and a cold dinner when I was lonely and crying alone. .. .. Looking back now, every moment is a good memory. I’m going to study abroad, move abroad, and travel abroad for the first time. .. I’m sure there are many people, but don’t be afraid to dive into various environments! The world you can see expands at once without you realizing it.