留学・研修現地レポート Report from Overseas

Winter session has started

Feb . 2018

     Hello. I can’t believe that I’ve been here in Canada, for about five months now. Time has pasted very quickly. I’m getting used to this terrible weather. Even if the weather forecaster says today’s temperature, we don’t believe him. We must check the wind chill because Kingston is right beside Lake Ontario. Thanks to Lake Ontario, sometimes the temperature goes down to around minus 20 or 30. I feel like I’m in the North Pole though I’m in Canada.

     The winter session started at the beginning of January, and I met my new teacher and classmates. The class is comfortable for me because our class is smaller than the other classes, and it’s easy to communicate with my teacher and classmates. Now, I’m writing an essay about a painting which I chose at the Art gallery in Queen’s University. We must search for information about the painting: who painted it and when it was painted, what the message of it is, what the story and background is and so on. The more I search about it, the more interesting details I find about it. Fortunately, the artist is Canadian; therefore, I learned not only about him and his paintings but also about the history between Canadians and the indigenous people in Canada in 19th and first half of the 20th century through this assignment. It makes me want to know about ancient Canada.

      I have gone skating with my host family at a public rink a few times. It was the first time, so I didn’t know how to slide on the ice and what the proper form to skate is. I just watched other people skating lightly and tried to imitate them, but it wasn’t easy. I fell down and hit my back and hip. I was ashamed because there were some people and kids watching me. I practiced, practiced and practiced many times whenever I went skating; now I’ve got the hang of it a little bit, so I can do better than before. Surprisingly, most Canadians can skate well even small kids. I want to learn how to skate well before leaving here. I need more practice and a special coach. In addition, I watched a famous, traditional hockey game in Kingston, Queen’s University VS RMC. The game was fantastic and impressive. It was the greatest game I’ve ever watched.

     These days, I suffer from a lack of confidence in my English skills, and I often feel sad about my lack of English skill. Sometimes I even think I should just go back to Japan. I can’t feel and recognize my progress in English. People around me express their opinion fluently and using correct grammar and vocabulary. I know it’s important to talk with people in English without being hesitant and afraid of my grammar and vocabulary. I’m being a lot more active talking to people than last semester, but I want to use proper English as much as I can. I don’t believe my English has improved as quickly as I expected. My former roommate always makes me happy and stimulated though I am struggling with my problem. She often encourages me and gives me advice. She is younger than me, but I feel I’m with my older sister whenever I spent time with her. Now I appreciate her friendship. I need to study to boost my English. I want to continue to study though I face a lot of challenges.