Nine months in Seattle, learning what it means to live in harmony among people with diverse sets of values

Haruka Tsuchiya
Department of Global Studies, Faculty of Global Studies

Destination: Seattle University
Form of Study Abroad: Exchange Programs

Every year, many Sophia University students study abroad in countries all over the world outside of Japan. How did they manage to find their way through the differences in languages, cultures, and lifestyles? Here are some voices of students who studied abroad.

I was an exchange student at Seattle University in the U.S. starting in September 2017, and during my nine months of study abroad, I was frustrated and often astonished by the differences in language and culture, however, I believe I learned the value of living in harmony with people with diverse gender perspectives or cultures as for food.

In particular, I participated in local disaster drills and volunteer activities to gain an analysis of disaster preparedness and civil society of the United States. In the process, I realized how proactive and tolerant people are in contributing to their communities.

The photo shows a time when I participated in volunteer activities to build houses for homeless people. We cut and assembled the wood with our own hands, painted the houses, and even installed fire alarms. People from all walks of life, nationalities, and ages participated in the project, and as an international student, I immediately got along with them.

I believe that we were able to achieve our goal as a team because we shared a common goal of wanting to help the people of the local community. Through this experience, I I realized the value of accepting diversity and living in harmony in our society.

Sophia University

For Others, With Others