城西大学附属 城西中学・高等学校

アメリカ長期留学 上野さん 4月レポート

現在、アメリカ・オレゴン州のBlanchet Catholic Schoolに長期留学中の上野さん(高1)の4月レポートとなります。ポートランドで行われた州指導者会議でのポスター発表、ワークショップへの参加は、とても良い経験と刺激になったようです。


 “We only have two months left in our study abroad days.” When my exchange student friend said that, I was shocked. There are times when life in America becomes the norm for you, and there are moments when you have the illusion that it will last forever. I want to savor these remaining few days.

 This month, I participated in a state leadership conference in Portland as a member of the medical club. Approximately 150 students chose from various competitions, and I selected the research poster category. I created a poster related to health and presented it in front of judges. During practice, I focused on projecting my voice and maintaining good intonation. However, I noticed that all the American students who presented before me didn’t speak very loudly; they delivered their presentations as if they were having a casual conversation. This surprised me because, back in Japan, I had participated in a recitation contest during junior high school where we competed to pronounce words loudly and clearly. Despite this, I assumed it would be impossible to change my delivery style right before the actual performance, so I stuck to my practiced approach. I’m not sure if my presentation style influenced the result, but the judges were very interested in my research and asked me a lot of questions. However, when it came time to express my passion and opinions about my research, I found myself stuck. I couldn’t summarize my thoughts well, which left me unable to convey anything important. Reflecting on why I struggled to express my opinion, I realized it was likely because I hadn’t fully engaged with my research. Unfortunately, my name wasn’t called during the award ceremony two days later, and I felt frustrated for not capitalizing on the opportunity. What struck me as I observed the presentations of the students who received this year’s awards was their ability to answer the judges’ questions confidently. It was evident that they possessed an inquisitive mindset and had thoroughly researched their topics. Inspired by this, I want to delve deeper into my research and hope that this experience won’t be the end. I look forward to presenting it again in the future.

 During the overnight conference, there were no competitions for me to participate in on the second day. Instead, I attended a workshop where medical professionals delivered speeches. One speech that particularly caught my attention was given by an Air Force military doctor specializing in aerospace medicine. These doctors treat Air Self-Defense Force personnel who experience health issues related to gravitational forces. During the workshop, I watched a video of Air Self-Defense Force members training on a machine that simulated the same gravity conditions as in the air. Some of the Self-Defense Forces members even fainted, and I was amazed by the swift first aid provided by the military doctors. During other workshops, I engaged in conversations with students from different schools about their volunteer experiences. Volunteer work holds significant value in American university entrance exams, and it surprised me to discover how enthusiastic many students were about volunteering. This realization highlighted yet another cultural difference. After the workshop, I returned to my room and played card games with my roommate. The conversation became so lively that we lost track of time. Despite the upcoming awards ceremony the next day, we suddenly realized that the clock had already struck midnight. We hurriedly went to bed, but both my roommate and I felt quite sleepy the following morning. Undoubtedly, the conference provided a valuable experience and inspiration.

 On another topic, we participated in our first doubles tennis match. On that day, all team members left school early and traveled to the venue in the coach’s van. As the match began, I felt extremely nervous—the atmosphere was different from our usual practice sessions. Although I managed to make some receiving shots, they veered off in various directions, resulting in fewer points scored. During a strategy meeting with my coach, he advised, “Mao is a fast hitter, so try adjusting to a slower tempo.” Following his guidance, I waited a little longer before hitting the ball, ensuring it landed within the court. Despite our loss in that match, I consider it a positive performance, especially since it was the first time our coach and the opposing coach faced off. I’m determined to show further improvement in our next match. After the game, our excitement led us to a renowned hamburger restaurant in the city center. One of my teammates suggested adding fries to a shake, and when I tried it, the combination was surprisingly delicious—I couldn’t stop eating! During the car ride home, I mentioned this to my mother, and she informed me that buying just fries and a shake without a hamburger was a common choice in America. Their creativity in combining flavors left a lasting impression on me.

 Additionally, I attended my friend’s birthday party. The theme of the party was Barbie, her favorite character. She even rented a selfie shop, and I played the role of a photographer, capturing numerous pictures. As a gift, I presented her with Barbie-themed items. I also joined another friend’s birthday celebration. This party also had a Barbie theme, and the condition for attending was to wear a Barbie costume. I meticulously prepared my own outfit and headed to the venue. To my surprise, my friend had not only chartered the selfie shop but also personally prepared all the snacks. The level of detail and effort put into American parties impressed me. During the party, we played card games and took countless pictures, posing like models. When we later reviewed the photos, we couldn’t help but laugh. It seems that everyone who attended wasn’t particularly concerned about taking pictures, but the fun moments were captured nonetheless.

 Reflecting on this month, I’ve tried various things and gained a lot of inspiration. With only one month left of my study abroad experience, I look forward to creating more wonderful memories, especially with big events like prom coming up.









城西大学附属 城西中学・高等学校

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