I am going to write a monthly report in English from December. The reasons are that English is in fact the standard all over the world, it is convenient for me to write in English because my living is in English, and this will be a good writing practice.
To make this report easy to understand, I divided into several topics; 1 Classes 2 English 3 Life 4 Schedule 5 Finance 6 Others 7 Travels 8 Pictures.
Finished all classes
After classes were done, students gave applause to professors in all classes. We thanked them from the bottom of our hearts for the professors’ efforts for preparing classes and contents of classes. That was impressive.
Final exams started on Dec.7 this year. Library opened for 24hrs during final exams. Exams are usually for 2~2.5hrs.
Econ345 Money and Banking Prof. Newman
The exam was not so difficult. Half multiple choice and 2 essays. There was enough time to complete the exam. My final score was 80.
Econ355 Introduction to International Trade Prof. Ashok
The exam was easy and almost the same as homework. My final score was 95
Econ441 The process of Economic Development Prof. Eswaran
The exam was pretty hard, especially for exchange students. We were asked to write 5 essays which were applied questions of what we did in class. In the class, he just showed us an example of a solution but not all of the solutions. So the exam was considerably hard. My final score was 80.
Econ442 Issues in Economic Development Prof. Berta
The exam was half multiple choice and 3 essays. The questions were pretty fair and well organized. You can solve if you properly reviewed your notes. My final score was 90.
Econ447 Monetary Theory Prof. Newman
The exam was a bit hard. All 5 questions are applied questions and you had to choose 4 of 5. My final score was 70. The professor held a Sushi dinner for us right after the exam.
Tips for taking classes ( in addition to the one from the October’s report)
- Bring a camera and a voice recorder to record class after you are allowed to do so by a professor. If you cannot understand class, you should ask people if you can take photos of notes, instead of borrowing notes to photocopy. People are more willing to allow you to take photos than to borrow notes.
- Make sure to record the date when the notes were taken in class
- Reviewing after class is more important than studying beforehand.
How is this effective?
This way is very efficient to understand class. Compare mine with usual way.
The merits of my proposal are ①Understand more ②Quick ③Do not take others’ time so much.
Tips for tests preparation
l Make a summary after each chapter finished. This is very effective for class where you are asked to memorize (e.g. Historical class)
l I had 4 dinner parties during exams terms. Many people hold parties during final exams terms so you should manage your time well.
l Almost everyone seemed to start preparing for exams a week before. However I started from 1 or 2 days before exams. And I prepared pretty well. If you already understand the class materials, it is not too late to start studying a few days before.
l Many students stay up studying very late in the library because library is open for 24hrs. However I do not think this is good for your health. It would be better to keep your routine.
l There are special office hours after classes are done for exams. It is useful to use them.
l Many people study in a group. However that can be often a waste of time. You should study yourself at first and ask friends if you need help. By the way, I studied with friends to practice English. Explaining what you learned is very good practice.
l For getting high scores on theoretical questions, you should make practice questions to make sure you understand. Think about the material the professors did not teach in the classes.
Tips during exams
l Don’t forget to bring your dictionary to class.
l English used in questions is different from normal English. It is sometimes difficult even with using a dictionary. So it is good to ask your professor or TA.
l Take a memo on the back page of answer sheets. In western style test, you are often asked to explain with long sentences. So you at first should write on the back page.
l Use a color pen to make your answer easy to understand
The difference between 200, 300 and 400 level
200level classes are more intuitive than others. There are sometimes discussion classes or presentations. Students are not as eager as intensive classes because many students from other departments also take these classes. 300level classes are more theoretical but do not use math much. Students are more eager. 400level classes use much more math and are for students who want to major and study hard.
2 English Practice
- During final exams, it is a good chance for you to improve your English because you are asked to explain what you learned to your friends.
- You can get help to improve those skills while studying abroad. After I practiced writing and speaking of TOEFL I noticed that I needed to improve pronunciation such as ‘’Blue, Woman, Mouth and Rule’’. I needed to practice to use plural and the third person singular. I also found that I cannot keep talking with the same level of English more than 1minute. After 1munite, I often use incorrect English.
- My Venezuelan friends got more than 100 on IBT test without studying anything. It seems a huge gap in English skills between Japanese and South Americans or Europeans.
- An alumnus gave me advice. He said ‘’ you don’t have to make native sounds.’’ Even if you have a Japanese accent, when you can speak naturally, that is well.’’
It is getting colder and rainy. It started snowing on the 13th and continued for a few days. However compared with other regions with same latitude, it is much better.
- Life in Campus
ü I attached a picture of the Japanese Sushi Shop.
ü You can have your hair cut in SUB for $22, quality of which is very good. Or there are many beauty salons in Broad way and down town.
ü You have to apply for MSP (Medical Service Plan) in early November. This covers your all insurance in Canada. So DON’T FORGET.
ü The dormitory closed on the 23rd. I traveled to Seattle and Chicago. Those who want to stay in Vancouver should choose Walter Gage.
ü You should get Caller ID service on your phone. In Canada, this service is optional. Without it, you cannot see who is calling you.
3rd End of semester event in International House
4th Learn how to wear tie for formal dinner in a dormitory
5th Formal Dinner and Dance in cafeteria for FREE
8th Exam for Econ 447 and Dinner hosted by Prof. Newman
10th An exam for Econ 441
11th Kwansei Gakuin Alumni Association in Vancouver
Those who are related to Kwansei Gakuin are invited to a Christmas party. We enjoy dinner and games. At the end of the party, we received a lot of Glico Snacks from a president of Glico subsidiary in Canada who went to Kwansei Gakuin. I attached a picture at the bottom.
15th A dinner with mid-term study abroad students from MASSIE
Kwansei Gakuin students from Mount Allison University came to Vancouver and were lectured about history of Canada by President of Kwansei Gakuin Alumni Association. After that we had a dinner at a Chinese restraint. The Glico president came again and gave us a maple pretz.
17th An exam for Econ 355
19th An exam for Econ 442
23rd Dormitory is closed.
After the dormitory closed, I traveled to Seattle and Chicago. I spent a lot of money for traveling. More than I thought I would. You should take advantage of Christmas sales.
Ordinary Expenditures $ $
Meals 31times 131
Alumni Association Fee 25
Restraunt 4 times 66.7
Groceries(pens, books, Binders) 66.51
Payment in Advance 115.34 Sum＄404,55
Extraordinary Expenditure \
Voice Recorder 7091
Dormitory Fee 138570
Clothes (2) 5432
Fido phone bill 2519 Sum \157196
Travel Expenditure \
Bus 6845 Taxi(2) 8000
Total9+10+11+12=$8978 Total Budget$11,384 Balance$11.129-8978=$2151
①How was first term so far?
I tried to do the best for all but only 60 or 70% of that worked well. Everything about me is constant or improved but my effort paid off much less here. I found the effect of the environment on my ability is huge. For example, I could not understand classes fully in English, my application for insurance was not accepted due to a blank or I paid too much for taxi fare unexpectedly.
However I believe my effort finally will pay off. I think the path to my success will be like the graph shows below. I may be still on the half way. Hence I make much effort.
I stayed in Seattle and Chicago. Here is some important information as tips for your winter travel.
You need to get a non immigrant visa by ESTA on line. This is very simple and easy to do. You can visit Seattle by coach bus. Bus fare is around $75 by Amtrak. Take a city bus to central station. Taxi is too expensive. From Seattle Airport to downtown, it is convenient to use the sound transit train from Sea-Tac Airport to downtown.
I booked a ticket for American Airlines. It costs around $350. You should bring 2 bags but deposit only 1 bag because each bag is charged differently. First is $20, second is $30. When you go through customs, make sure you have returned your declaration card.