2011 - ユースミーティング

International Youth Meeting 2011


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International Youth Meeting 2011

Erika Ota

I had a really good time with many students in St. Polten. It was a precious memory and I bet that I will never forget it. I haven’t had a chance of studying abroad before joining this meeting so it was a first time for me spending time with foreign students in same age. I’d been really nervous at first. I usually use English to my teachers in my college and they all are always kind to me but this time was different. They speak English much better than me and sometimes they didn’t understand me. So I felt a little bit of presser that I have to speak English frequently. However, they didn’t care about such things. European countries are connecting each other because of the locations, while Japan is completely isolated from any other countries. It’s new one for me being proud of their nationalities and languages. Recently, Japanese are struggled for individualizing our own culture and mix other cultures. But we don’t need to. There is no inferior or superior between cultures. My way of thinking got a new point of view. And studying with students was a lot of fun. I’d ever studied French at my college before but it was not so fun. I was just forced to do it at that time, but I studied naturally in Austria. For a week I’d heard students chatting and joking so I was very curious about what they were saying. Once, one of my German friends read a book aloud for me. It was so beautiful and memorable. I guess that’s why studying abroad program has been supported many universities. 

     I searched about history and industry in St. Polten in advance but it was beyond my imagination. There are so many historical beautiful architectures. I felt like as if I were in pictures. Kurashiki and St. Polten have common features. Both of the cities have strong responsibility that they have to save and hand down the traditions to young generations. Especially, I was really impressed at art systems in St. Polten. From little children to elderly people, everybody in the city can enjoy learning art at private schools. I visited a private music school and a ballet school with Mr. Yamazaki. He teaches flute at the school and he showed me the inside of the classrooms, teachers’ rooms and how students playing music instruments. He also explained me that all the students are able to join the classes much cheaper than Japan thanks to the city’s financial support. I want Kurashiki to adapt this system especially in Japanese traditional art field. I noticed how much European people are interested in Eastern culture. I used many pictures in my power point slides at presentation and they stood out of 4 other presentations. Students’ reaction was better than I expected and they gave me compliments. I was proud of myself and Japanese culture at that time. Thank you very much again for all of the people who gave me this special chance.

太田 恵利花