Use your own words to introduce your host university, including its learning environment and student life. In particular, observe and describe how local students study and their attitude toward higher education in general.
My host university is Huron University College. It is a small university which is located in London, Ontario, Canada. The number of the students is around 1,300. Most classes are small ones, so the relationship between teachers and students is close. It is easy to have contact with teachers and to ask them questions. As mentioned above, my host university is small in terms of both the number of students and its area. However, my host university cooperates with other universities which are located nearby, and host university students can use facilities and services at cooperative universities. It can be said that my host university makes use of good points of both a small university and a big university.
Most of the students at my host university live near their campus apart from their parents. It seems that they cannot think to take one or two hours to go to the university like Japanese students. There are three ways to go to the school: by car, by bus, and by walking. London is a small town and there is just one train station, so the main transportation for people is a bus.
There are some libraries on campus. Also, there are many places to study at the libraries. During the exam periods, the operation times of the libraries are extended. The biggest library operates 24 hours per day during the exam periods so student can easily find places to study anytime. Because of many reading tasks, exams, and assignments, students may feel stressed or pressured. To reduce stress and tiredness, the universities occasionally provide their students with enjoyable time and fun activities like making postcards, playing with bubble-warp, providing stress kits, and free food. In addition, there is another faculty to support students. It is the writing center where students can ask assistants advice about writing assignments.
In class, many students are eager to study. They try to speak their opinions or to ask questions to their teachers during classes. It is easy to feel their will to study. If teachers do not notice that students have raised their hands, students will wave them in order to get their teachers’ attention. Sometimes, study places at the libraries are filled with students. Also, some students study in lounges or at the dining hall. Many students seem to spend almost their whole day on campus. Even when it is night, many students still stay on campus. They spend time studying, talking or discussing things with their friends. On the other hand, when they take a break, they get enough rest. Only a few students show up in class before and after long holidays. When they study, they devote themselves to the task. However, when they take a rest, they enjoy rest time. They seem sensible. It costs to go to university and live apart from parents. Therefore, there are many students who are busy both studying and working a part time job. However, they do not devote themselves to work. Their priority is study. Thus, they rarely talk to each other about their jobs. At the end of each semester, many students visit the writing center with their assignments. They do their assignments with a positive attitude. Also, local students are interested in social situations. When there is a hot trend about politics, finance, and economy, their topics of conversation tend to follow the trend.
My host university provides students with a good learning environment in terms of both study and rest. It not only forces students to study, but also recommends them to take rest. Many students manage the time to study and to take a break. They have a good attitude toward higher education although it is expensive and forces them to manage money. Even outside of class, they take a positive attitude to learn social situations which happen all over the world.
Visit a governmental office, a NGO/NPO, a historical monument, or a religious facility in your host country and describe your experience there. Compare its similarities and differences with an equivalent place you had visited in Japan.
On September 18, I visited the Waverly Park in Thunder Bay with my host family. The park is the second oldest park in Ontario (City of Thunder Bay, 2017), and has a beautiful nature, but I did not visit it for only enjoying the nature. Thunder Bay where I stayed has many historical monuments, and the park also has some monuments telling people the history of Thunder Bay, for example, Hogarth Memorial Fountain, Historical walkway, and Port Arthur Cenotaph. Among them, the cenotaph especially left the biggest impression with me because Port Arthur Cenotaph was made for local soldiers who lost their lives in the war, and it reminded me Hiroshima.
The cenotaph was built by the Women’s Canadian Club in 1925 (The News Chronicle, 1925). Originally, it was erected for local sacrifices in the World War, but it was updated, and now it is a remembrance for local people who died in the World War and Great War. The cenotaph is located at a quiet part far removed from the center of the park, and it looked over two maters high. Because the cenotaph was better than I expected even though Thunder Bay is really a small city, I was surprised when I saw it. In addition, Joshua who was my little host brother said that he and his friends often played in Waverly park, so I thought that the cenotaph was accepted people in Thunder Bay and blended in with their lives.
In Japan, there are also historical monuments about the World War, and when I heard about Waverly Park and Port Arthur Cenotaph from my Canadian super visor, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park came to my mind. That was because the memorial park also has cenotaphs for victims of the war. The memorial park has a lot of cenotaphs unlike Waverly Park in Thunder Bay, and among them, the most famous one is for people who lost their lives by the atomic bomb in the World War Ⅱ. It was erected in 1952 (Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum Website, 2017), and the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony is held in front of the cenotaph every year. Compared to Port Arthur Cenotaph, the cenotaph in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park does not seem to have a big difference, but after talking with my host family, I felt that the biggest difference between them was feelings which people had toward the each cenotaph. Port Arthur Cenotaph was made for soldiers, so when people stand in front of the cenotaph, they pay respect to them and think “peace” as a part of their achievement. On the other hand, when people stand in front of the cenotaph for victims who died by the atomic bomb, people think “peace” as an atonement for them.
In conclusion, Thunder Bay has Port Arthur Cenotaph in Waverly Park, and it reminded me the cenotaph for the atomic bomb victims and Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park; however, the feelings that people have toward each cenotaph and “peace” are completely different.
How does the country contribute to the world (in economic, political, cultural, etc. terms)? Your description should include at least three primary sources (can be interviews)
International Cooperations and Contributions are crucial in an increasingly globalized world to solve many problems. Canada makes substantial contributions in a variety of fields such as an economy, politics, industry, and so on. However, Canada especially contributes to solving problems against LGBT rights and refugee problems.
In the first place, Canada plays active roles for removing discriminations against LGBT people. Homosexuality is legalized in many countries; moreover, these countries consist of some regions which accept same-sex marriage or common-law marriage. On the other hand, homosexuality is restricted by law and discriminated in other countries. Homosexuality may be severely punished or even executed in some countries. According to Rishi Lyengar, at least 50 people were killed and 53 others were wounded at the gay nightclub in Orland on June 12, 2016. However, Canadian government and organizations implemented numerous efforts to support them. First, Canadian government issues an official marriage certificate to all LGBT couples even though they do not have Canadian nationality or right of permanent residence. “TORJA" says that about 110 LGBT couples held a wedding ceremony at the same time at Casa Loma in Toronto in 2014; many couples came to attend it from around the world. Second, many Canadian groups support for LGBT communities. According to “LIFE VANCOUVER”, one of the organizations, PFLAG is not for LGBT people own, but for LGBT people’s families and friends. Vancouver Pride Society holds LGBT events such as Vancouver Pride Parade; it also held the memorial ceremony for shooting accident in Orland. I-Belong Project supports LGBT people who are also immigrants or refugees. These groups create some events or opportunities from various aspects for LGBT people.
In the second place, Canada contributes to solving refugee problems. In the world, many refugees need safe places to live with their families. However, some countries like Japan has a strict standard of accepting refugees; therefore, they have rootless feelings. According to “Government of Canada”, Canada is working to welcome 25,000 Syrian refugees after Justin Trudeau became prime minister. In Canada, some private sectors assume a large role in any support except medical care and language; in short, Canadian government cooperates with non-governmental groups. The system is helpful for promoting public awareness and understanding of refugee problems. In addition, refugees in Canada cause no obvious problems, unlike other countries. The assault to refugee problems by Canada has just begun; however, it can be a good contribution to the world.
As I mentioned above, Canada actively contributes for removing discriminations or obstructions against LGBT people and same-sex couples; and giving places where can have peace of mind for immigrants or refugees. Government support all LGBT people to get official marriage certification or held the large-scale wedding. Some organizations also support them from various standpoints. To accept all people from around the world is obviously significant contribution to the world. In addition, national commitment such as some supports from governmental and non-governmental groups against refugee problems in Canada is rare in the world; therefore, the contribution has a large impact on the world.