2016 US Study Trip
We returned to Japan on 8th March, finishing the US Study Trip for 24 days. We visited four cities in the USA, made discussions with students at universities, interviewed companies, and attended special lectures. We also stayed at dormitories so we could experience the actual life of American students.
We visited St. Thomas University and Rice University in Houston, Yale University in New Haven, Harvard University, MIT, and Tufts in Boston, and Stanford University and University of California, Berkeley in San Francisco. In Japan, we researched on and discussed “what we should learn in universities”, with considering the system of internships. Based on this study, we had discussions in those universities on the topic, “Does employment through internships benefit students?”
We learned that students in the USA had to take part in internships to get a job, but that they had to study hard in universities. They should do preparations for school to keep up with classes, and companies check GPA in recruiting activities. However they were not forced to study by this situation, but they voluntarily did with following their future plan, which was impressive for us.
＜Visits to Companies＞
We visited American and Japanese companies, and NPOs in Houston and Boston, and Silicon Valley in San Francisco. In Houston, we asked questions associated with energy, which was the main industry in Houston, and in Boston we visited chemical companies. In Silicon Valley, we learned culture and environment which promoted to start a business. In addition, we could inquire what students should study in universities from companies, and their answers were informative for us. Especially they often said that students should acquire a broad liberal arts education, specific knowledge about their major, and ability to communication with others and to solve problems.
We audited a history class in Rice University, attended a special lecture on history in Harvard University, on gender and on internships in Yale University, and on negotiation and on the international education in Stanford University. We could think about each topics from a point of view of the USA, and all the lectures were interesting. We could conduct sufficient exchanges of views with professors in the lectures, which was so different from Japanese style.
Through this study trip, the most impressive thing is that students in the USA have praiseworthy ambition and study hard. When we stayed at dormitory, we saw them study until midnight or dawn. This meant students in the USA had to have previous knowledge to keep up with classes, which was different from Japan. On the other hand, they intensively played on holidays, so we thought they were good at snapping out of it. This experience in the trip gave us a chance to reconsider what we should do in universities.（Ryo Taguchi）