Hi, I’m Saho. I participated in the English program in 2019. It was the first time for me to go abroad and stay in another country in my life, so I was nervous. I was worried about living without my family in a brand new place, and about living with new people in a dormitory for 4 months. In the first month, I couldn’t understand what native speakers said, so felt like I didn’t want people, especially native speakers, to hear my awful English. However, it was really fun for me to talk to my Resident Assistants in Covington, so I still talked to them all the time even though my English wasn’t perfect.
For me, talking to and spending time with the American RAs was the thing that I really enjoyed and was always looking forward to. I never felt a language wall between me and them, but instead, I was inspired by them a lot. Living with the RAs especially changed the way I thought about the world around me and myself. The RAs helped me to feel that what I thought were my weaknesses, are actually strengths and they taught me to cherish my individuality. Their words helped and encouraged me a lot. Let me say, I believe it would have been impossible for me to have a fun MFWI life without them. The purpose of studying abroad is to improve students’ English skills, but I realized that the real purpose is to experience and learn new things with new and wonderful friends.
Also, there were a lot of events during study abroad. I watched ice hockey games, joined Bloomsday race and walked 8 miles, and I joined pie-party, where I could meet a lot of people from different countries. At the pie-party, I met an old man and I talked to him a lot. I was sensitive and nervous about my English but he told me that I should keep trying my best, and to not give up, even if I don’t feel like improving my English because continued practice will pay back. I was inspired by his words and they pushed and encouraged me.
I’m so grateful for the amazing people that I met through MFWI. It was the best four months ever for me to live with amazing people, especially my RAs. They are more than Resident Assistants to me. They are my special friends and made a big revolution in my life. MFWI changed my life widely, and made me confident and embrace that everyone is different and unique.
I realized that we all can be the way we are, and we don’t need to worry about what other people think and we can wear anything we want to, which I can’t do in Japan. It might have been hard for me to think that being different is really wonderful, cool and beautiful if I hadn’t studied abroad. However, I saw a lot of people of various nationalities and they all looked different from each other and confident, and they were accepting of all kinds of values. It really encouraged, helped and inspired me and gave me a lot of new ways to think. I’m really thankful for everything for everything that I learned. I can tell that I improved myself not only in terms of studying, but also as a person. I really miss the RAs and Spokane. I’d like to take a trip to Spokane to see them again. I can promise you that going to MFWI won’t be a choice you regret, but it will change you a lot and make your life more shiny!