College of Arts and Sciences (PEAK)/Swarthmore College (USA)/2016/There were also a few troubles, but there were always people who were willing to help. I was especially astonished by the tight bond within the community at Swarthmore.
Tell us about the best experience you had during the program.
There were also a few troubles, but there were always people who were willing to help. I was especially astonished by the tight bond within the community at Swarthmore. There were regular “collections” at which people share, listen, and agree with their ideas about recent issues. A student walkout in order to protect undocumented students on campus after the presidential election was a memorable experience. I was very fortunate to belong to such a warm community last semester.
What types of classes did you take?
I was challenged and learned a lot of new things during my exchange program at Swarthmore College. I major in environmental sciences, but mainly studied physics and engineering since it was a valuable chance to broaden my fields of interest with less restriction on course requirement. I especially enjoyed astrophysics and special relativity. The lectures were engaging, and additional activities, such as a trip to UPENN to listen to a talk about LIGO, data process of stellar image, were fascinating. I also tried being a Japanese tutor. I had connections with a lot of interesting people in the Japanese learning community at Swarthmore. Their friendliness and cheer enriched my life.
How do you want to make use of your experience overseas?
The program was short but strong enough to influence my life. I realized my academic interests and weaknesses and could clarify what I should study from now on. I am currently doing an internship about nuclear fusion in Japan after doing a directed reading about nuclear energy at Swarthmore. I would like to continue studying mathematics and physics at the University of Tokyo from next semester.
If you give one piece of advice to students looking into educational opportunities abroad, what would it be?
For prospective students who are considering an exchange program, I recommend to try something new that you have been interested in. Challenging something new in a new environment will make a positive stimulus in your life.