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One Step Further into the World
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승인 2010.10.18  17:30:48
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One Step Further into the World
 
By Lee Seung-min, Junior, Dept. of Education of English
 
“Why are you going to Japan, when you are an English major?” I have been asked this question hundreds of times since I was selected as an exchange student for Osaka University. I fully understand why people are curious.  However, the more I was asked that question, the shorter my answer became until finally I just replied ‘For the experience!’ Yes, you should experience everything once. . Here I am going to tell you all about my life in Osaka, and how great it was.
With a population of about four million people, Osaka is the second largest city in Japan and is probably the best city to discover the country’s “Japaneseness.” And, Osaka University is one of the three most prestigious national Universities in Japan, along with Tokyo University and Kyoto University. Osaka University has three different campuses and provides students with shuttle buses from one campus to another. At the beginning, I was overwhelmed by its scale, cleanliness, organization, and kindness which are the typical Japanese characteristics. However, what I got at Osaka University was something much more than that.
 
   
 
  ▲ The view of Osaka University  
 
The Osaka University Short-term Student Exchange Program I participated in was called the Oussep program. There are several programs for international students at Osaka University, and the Oussep program is mainly for non-Japanese students who speak English. Therefore, with other students in the program, I took English courses, used English with other Japanese managers, and communicated with international and Japanese students in English. This is the reason I decided to go to Japan even though I am majoring in English, and this is how I managed my life in Japan without decent Japanese skills.
It was a fascinating and a very special experience to meet international students from around the world in JAPAN. Yes, in Japan. You can easily meet Southeast Asians if you go to the Philippines, and you can also meet Westerners every minute if you are going to Canada to study English. But, can you imagine how it would be different and fabulous to gather students from a variety of ethnic and racial backgrounds and have them interact with each other in Japan, the richest Asian country? That was the experience I had during my first trip abroad.  
I went through an unspeakably huge shift in my perspective of the world, and grew more as a person than in any other stage of my life in Korea. I discovered that diversity makes life more interesting and I was very open to it, but to truly understand it, you have to experience it, not just read about it in books or watch foreign movies. In other words the proof of the pudding is in the eating. You may see how it is made, you may be told the recipe to make the pudding, but you will never really experience it until you actually eat the pudding. Raise a spoon and try the pudding. Then, you will know. 
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