Meet Your Fellow Anteater #1
The International Center is committed to facilitating an enriching college experience for the international community at UC Irvine. Meet Your Fellow Anteater is an opportunity for us to connect international students by highlighting the involvements, accomplishments, and experiences of the outstanding students in our community. Don't be afraid to say "hi" when you see your fellow anteater around campus.
Home Country: Japan
Native Language: Japanese
1. What is your favorite American food/snack?
My favorite food in America is the combination of hamburgers and french fries. I can have many choices here so I'm excited. I wish I could eat In-n-Out burgers in my hometown.
2. What are the three words you would use to describe yourself and why?
Adventurous: A woman I met in the hostel described me through this word. After that, I prefer to use this word to describe myself. I like to experience new things.
Friendly: I like to talk to people and meet new people.
Honest: I try to be honest with other people and myself.
3. Why did you choose to come to UCI for college?
I was interested in studying American culture and Economics. Irvine and Orange County have cultural diversity. In addition, Irvine is an important business district. So I thought UCI is the best school for my studying abroad.
4. Who or what inspires/motivates you in life/in school?
Actually, in life, every person I have met inspires me. Especially my family, my friends and my favorite musicians have influenced me. My father inspires my action, my roommate motivates me to study harder and my friends make me try to experience new things.
5. What are some of your involvements here at UCI? What drew you to these specific involvements/organizations?
I've recently joined the UCI boxing team. I have been boxing for 2 years before I joined the team. Interestingly, it's a hard and addictive sport. I once stopped practice for a couple of months but I wanted to resume it this quarter.
I participate in Open Jam (music club). I play the guitar. Now I made a band with my friends and we practice together for the performance.
6. What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
1) Job Hunting
I have taken many interviews but it was hard to pass. It was embarrassing but I asked my friends to give me some feedback to improve my interviews. I'm still job hunting but I'm satisfied with the improvements I have made.
2) Boxing training for competitions
In Japan, I practiced boxing training 6 times in a week and I had to prepare to run for 12km. I also had to reduce my weight by 6kg. They were so hard, but I balanced my life to include fun activities to overcome the practice such as trying to eat my favorite healthy foods more than usual.
3) Asking for help
This is a conflict that has been the biggest challenge for myself. In my home country, this was not an issue. Fortunately, many of the problems were resolved by myself. In the United States, it is hard to handle these issues by myself. I learned that I needed to ask for help on many things here and I am no longer ashamed of doing so.
7. What advice do you have for other international students currently adjusting to life in the United States?
I have learned two things I've realized that may be important for them.
1) Don't hesitate to ask for help and turn to people.
It is not embarrassing to ask people or professor. If you don't understand them and leave the confusion, the situation is sometimes going to be even more complicated. If you ask people for help here, they will be happy to help you.
2) Get out of my comfort zone.
UCI is a large university. If you don't take action, nothing is going to happen. It would be helpful in your student life to study harder, join a club, go to office hours or try something new!
8. What has been your favorite experience at UCI and/or the U.S. so far?
I have three of my favorite experiences here.
1) Last winter break
I traveled to some places in the U.S. I met many people at each place I visited. I had a good conversation with them.
2) Group project for the class
This was the first group project here. I had no idea how to contribute to the team well. I learned the topics before meeting with them and I tried to give the team as many inputs as I could. This was a trial and error process but our team finally got a good result and I learned many things from this experience.
3) Talking with my friend at midnight
He is also an international student. We talked about many topics such as where we are from and the future. Our countries are close to each other geographically but I didn't know about his country so much. I felt I needed to learn many things about his country and I would visit there in the future.