Student Voice

2015.11.09Student Voice

Student Voice: Glendalee Green, State University of New York, Binghamton, USA

Glendalee is a second-semester student at AIU from the State University of New York, Binghampton (on exchange through the State University of New York, Oswego partnership)

Reason for Coming to Japan

I'm a double-major in Math and Japanese at SUNY Binghamton, and I came through the exchange program with SUNY Oswego. My goal is to work in Japan in the future as a math teacher at an international school, so I came here to experience Japanese life first, before committing to a long term move.

Academic Experience

I'm taking all Japanese courses, now, including Core Japanese 305, Kanji, Pronunciation, and Reading courses. One thing that has surprised me has been that classes here are actually fun. The teachers really care about students' learning and they're very friendly and engaged. Before I came to Japan, I heard rumors that classes would be very cold, formal, and strict, but that hasn't been the case at all. I live in Global Village and I have a Japanese roommate, so we help each other with language practice all the time. She speaks English to me and I reply in Japanese. She also teaches me useful phrases and challenges me to try to come up with an answer myself when I'm stuck.

Extracurricular Activities

Karuta Club

Members of the Karuta Club practice in the tatami rooms in Student Hall.
Photo courtesy of Glendalee Green.

I joined the Karuta club, which is a Japanese card game and requires Japanese listening ability. You have to recognize the quote being read out loud as quickly as possible – as fast as the second syllable – and find the correct card with the whole quote before your opponent. I love it! I tried it for the first time after I got to AIU and I took first place in my first competition. Since the game is in Japanese, we speak Japanese a lot at club meetings, but we also explain in English if any of the international students get stuck.

English Village (Research and Community Outreach Services)

The RCOS English Village Program brings in high school students for a 3-day English immersion program and the international students at AIU help out. The high school students have to speak nothing but English for 12 hours per day for all three days. It's really intense for them, but they've told me they like the challenge and it's great to see them having fun with it and interacting in all kinds of situations. Even though I can understand them in Japanese, if they try to speak to me in that language, I have to pretend that I can't and answer only in English.

Language Conversation Partner Program

I've also joined the Conversation Partner Program, where I volunteer to teach Spanish to other students at AIU. There was a much higher interest in Spanish than I expected and the Japanese students are very proficient and have good pronunciation as well. That program has been a lot of fun.

AIU Community: Peer Supporters

Peer supporters pose in the cafeteria lobby in between new student pickup service arrival times.
Photo courtesy of Glendalee Green.

In my second semester, I volunteered for the Peer Supporters program in orientation because I remembered how great it felt when the Peer Supporters welcomed me in my first semester. I definitely recommend it to anyone who is going to be here for 2 semesters. I met all the incoming students when they arrived for orientation and got to know so many people so quickly. Now I still see them around campus and everyone knows my face so they always smile and say hi. It's definitely a worthwhile experience!
Glendalee is a second-semester student at AIU from the State University of New York, Binghampton (on exchange through the State University of New York, Oswego partnership)

Reason for Coming to Japan

I'm a double-major in Math and Japanese at SUNY Binghamton, and I came through the exchange program with SUNY Oswego. My goal is to work in Japan in the future as a math teacher at an international school, so I came here to experience Japanese life first, before committing to a long term move.

Academic Experience

I'm taking all Japanese courses, now, including Core Japanese 305, Kanji, Pronunciation, and Reading courses. One thing that has surprised me has been that classes here are actually fun. The teachers really care about students' learning and they're very friendly and engaged. Before I came to Japan, I heard rumors that classes would be very cold, formal, and strict, but that hasn't been the case at all. I live in Global Village and I have a Japanese roommate, so we help each other with language practice all the time. She speaks English to me and I reply in Japanese. She also teaches me useful phrases and challenges me to try to come up with an answer myself when I'm stuck.

Extracurricular Activities

Karuta Club

Members of the Karuta Club practice in the tatami rooms in Student Hall.
Photo courtesy of Glendalee Green.

I joined the Karuta club, which is a Japanese card game and requires Japanese listening ability. You have to recognize the quote being read out loud as quickly as possible – as fast as the second syllable – and find the correct card with the whole quote before your opponent. I love it! I tried it for the first time after I got to AIU and I took first place in my first competition. Since the game is in Japanese, we speak Japanese a lot at club meetings, but we also explain in English if any of the international students get stuck.

English Village (Research and Community Outreach Services)

The RCOS English Village Program brings in high school students for a 3-day English immersion program and the international students at AIU help out. The high school students have to speak nothing but English for 12 hours per day for all three days. It's really intense for them, but they've told me they like the challenge and it's great to see them having fun with it and interacting in all kinds of situations. Even though I can understand them in Japanese, if they try to speak to me in that language, I have to pretend that I can't and answer only in English.

Language Conversation Partner Program

I've also joined the Conversation Partner Program, where I volunteer to teach Spanish to other students at AIU. There was a much higher interest in Spanish than I expected and the Japanese students are very proficient and have good pronunciation as well. That program has been a lot of fun.

AIU Community: Peer Supporters

Peer supporters pose in the cafeteria lobby in between new student pickup service arrival times.
Photo courtesy of Glendalee Green.

In my second semester, I volunteered for the Peer Supporters program in orientation because I remembered how great it felt when the Peer Supporters welcomed me in my first semester. I definitely recommend it to anyone who is going to be here for 2 semesters. I met all the incoming students when they arrived for orientation and got to know so many people so quickly. Now I still see them around campus and everyone knows my face so they always smile and say hi. It's definitely a worthwhile experience!