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Welcome to Barbara's WIKI page for intermediate core. 

March - May  2009 

student's name link to student page
Alfonsina Arbiza Alfonsina Arbiza
Miren Horikawa Miren Horikawa
Romina Lima Romina Lima
Maikel Nunez Castro Maikel Nunez Castro
Tetsuro Ogura Tetsuro Ogura
Fiorella Pena Fiorella Pena
Santiago Rodriguez  Santiago Rodriguez 
Leticia Rosa Leticia Rosa
Chihana Sakurai  Chihana Sakurai 

Aristote Zabili 

Aristote Zabili 

Nicolas Alexandrou Nicolas Alexandrou 






March 2009 
April 2009 
May 2009 

     In America I learned more things about everything. The most important for me is to learn how to speak so I can have good conversions so I can understand what the people talk to me about, and so I can get the main ideas of the conversations .I learned how the thinking of the people here is differed from my country.

     For the education I learn more things about how to speak weal and how to make the other people understand me. My teacher Barbara, Pat and Rick help me a lot improve my English speaking writing, reading and grammar. I will try to be better because it is very important for me to learn good English

     The people in America in Vermont are such friendly and good people. They help me a lot with and many things. I must fix I’m alone and is it hard they help me, and they teaches me about the culture in America. The culture in America is different from my country so it is hard to make the same things with Americans in the activities trips so must know what the people like to make here so we must enjoy with others so we make good friends. Many Americans friends I meet here explain to me how can enjoy and have fun with the Americans people that’s going great for me in the short time am here. They help me a lot to improved my English skill so fast in the talk part .The way people think in Cyprus is so deferent .that make it harder for me enjoy with Americans and other people from other cultures.  

     The government of Vermont and Governor Douglas is nice. People and friend for example Douglas is the governor of Vermont He saw every student in my class in his office and took a picture with him And him jug ass more that’s a nice government. And I think Barak Obama is same as Vermont governor a nice guy.


March 2009 

Before coming to the United States I knew some things because it’s an important country and every day I used to watch American news, and because in school I studied the history of the United States,

I knew that the country is divided to states and every state has different laws.

Lately I have heard about Barack Obama; I think he is a different President.

I knew that the times for eating in this country are very different from Uruguay, and the food too.


April 2009 

In this month I learned many interesting things about the history of the United States and also of the government and customs of other countries because in the class we are always comparing the governments and this is very interesting. I have learned many things and similarities; I think this is very good for learning. Outside the classroom I met with very friendly people from different countries.

I learned how to organize my ideas in a better way and also I learned more vocabulary. I understand more when I speak but it is still difficult to express my ideas; I think this is the most difficult. Will be here one month more and I want to enjoy my life here the most I can.

What I’ve learned since I arrived?



I can’t believe I have only four more days in this beautiful country. I learned many important things here. I improve my knowledge about the government of the United States. I found differences and similarities with my country. I learned about the constitution of this country and the rights of the citizens. Analyze the population, the characteristics and the diversity. We discuss the different cultures and customs, and always we learn something new. We talk also about Japan, Congo, Cyprus and Uruguay. This was interesting and great for me.
        I think that I improve my English. I learned to listen and now I know how to organize my ideas in a better way and also I learned more vocabulary.  I think that for talking fluently it is necessary to have more time. Eight weeks is not enough.  However I think that I progressed in many aspects and I am very         happy.
       The college is beautiful. I got used to life here. But the best for me was knowing so many wonderful people. The people here are amazing; all are very friendly and helpful. The teachers are wonderful    too;  they  help  us     all     the   time.
       Really being here is one of the best things that I have experience in my life. I think that the program is wonderful because it helped me in all the aspects, not only to improve my English. Personally, being here helped me for life and for seeing the world in different form.
I am totally grateful and hope to return someday to meet with these wonderful people. Thank you for everything.




May 2009 
March 2009 

In Uruguay I was studying World History, so I had knowledge of United States history. I knew about the first colonists (British and French) and the route used by Native Americans. They crossed the Bering Strait between Asia and North America. Before coming to Vermont I knew the meaning of the star in the flag of the United States. The Uruguayan culture and the United States culture have a lot in common.

When I was coming to Vermont, I thought the climate was much colder in the spring, but now I am getting used to it and don’t need a coat, gloves, hat, etc. In Uruguay I searched for information on the Internet about Vermont and I found the meaning of the name (green mountains), the geography of the place and the percentage of the population, I also learned that Vermont is one of the safest states in the country.

April 2009 

During the last four weeks at Saint Michael’s College I learned about government composition. I participated in a lot of discussions in class finding differences or similarities between the U.S government and the Uruguayan government.

Also I am learning new vocabulary and I am trying to use it when it is appropriate, but I know I have to read more in order to implement other words. I feel I am improving my listening and my speaking, but I have a lot of grammar problems. I do not feel I am improving my writing. I am using skills all the time because I need to communicate and work with other people.

Last week I finished the Service Learning course and it was an excellent part of the program because I learned from the clients to be more caring. On the other hand, when I prepared the games with my team, I had to work together and respect other ideas.

I think I am learning everywhere I go, not just about languages or culture; I see a lot of differences between the common American life and Uruguayan life. I learned contra dancing and how to make appointments using my email.

May 2009 



The most significant experience in my life is ending, but I am sure that it is only the beginning of new opportunities. When I was selected by the U.S Embassy, my purpose was to improve my English; on the other hand, I could not imagine all the good things that were going to happen to me. This period of time studying at Saint Michael’s College was an opportunity to learn English, know more about the U.S government, and recognize different customs.

First, I improved my English more than I had expected. When I came to Saint Michael’s College, I could not organize ideas and my vocabulary was very small. Today, I know more vocabulary and I can identify when it is appropriate to use it. Also the structure of my paragraphs is much better.

Secondly, the Intensive English Program has interesting activities to learn from. I really enjoyed the Service Learning course; this was an excellent opportunity to use my English to help other people. The people in Prim Road shared with me all their feelings and experiences. In fact, I’m never going to forget this activity and the beautiful people whom I met.

Third, I learned many things about the U.S culture. Inside the class we discussed the structure of the U.S government, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights document, the Check and Balances system and American diversity. However, I did not learn only about American culture; I also learned about Japanese, Congo and Cyprus culture. My wonderful roommates shared with me all their experiences and taught me about their way of life, and the differences and similarities between our countries. I have an excellent memory of each one of my roommates and my teachers.

To summarize, I have many reasons to be sure that this is my best experience. I learned different things in each place where I went. Also sometimes I felt part of American society.




March 2009 


What do you know about America ?                                        


     My American image is that everything is dynamic and there is a lot of entertainment and freedom.

     First , definitely American people are bigger than Japanese people, so the food is more dynamic and there is too much of it for Japanese people. I heard almost every student who studies abroad in America will gain weight. (Actually, I am also gaining weight. )

     Second , Japan has entertainment ,but America has it on a bigger scale. Japanese people are often surprised at the scale of American movies.

     Finally , I think freedom is a word that symbolizes America. A lot of American people come from many countries, so Americans sometimes show me actions of freedom. In a bookstore, I saw someone copy a book from the notebook on the floor. In a clothing store, I saw someone try almost 20 clothes at once, or someone try clothes in front of a mirror even though there are no fitting rooms. Before in language school, my classmate disappeared for 30 minutes of class time because he wanted to eat food suddenly. (Actually he is not a real American, but I really understand the difference between foreigh countries and Japan.)

     Japanese people are serious, and they like to obey rules and to follow a leader, but each American has a responsibility, so he doesn’t need to follow a leader and he will do something by himself. So I think they can be free.


April 2009 


My learning in America


     When I had been here for two weeks, I wrote the same topic about what I learned.I wrote that I found out about the system of a lot of homework which is good for our English ability. I learned what a native American is because before I just knew someone who was learning English, not American English. Two weeks later , now , truly I have almost the same feeling because my life cycle has not changed until now. But during the same life cycle, I learned a little something. Recently I think studying is fun. Maybe every night I study with my friends. This situation made me feel good. If we have a question, we can ask our friends. Sometimes a native English speaking friend who is studying Japanese joins this study group. We taught each other our language. I like this situation because it is a special experience that we can just experience while studying abroad, so I think this is learning out of class.

In class, of course I learn English, but I learn about the American government system too. If I had seen myself in this situation in the past, I would have been surprised because I have never been interested in government, even Japanese government. I think this is a common style for young Japanese people, so sometimes in class, we couldn’t talk about the Japanese government system. At this time I understood we have to learn our government system because this is also our culture. Our class and homework made me interested in government systems. The Democratic party homework was especially difficult. While I tried to do this homework , I wanted to compare American government with Japanese government. I hope I will continue this thinking after I go back to Japan.


May 2009

                    What I learned About America

                                                           May 13, 2009

                                                         Miren Horikawa



After coming to America, I have been leaning a lot of things that I would not have a chance to learn in my country, where there are only a few people who are from other countries compared to my country. Sometimes I was nervous, and had culture shock because of the differences between the America and Japan, but I have learned a lot about the education system, the people, and humanity in general.

  First, the education system is totally different. The education system in Japan is one-way; students are not allowed to give their opinions in class, but in the American class we prefer to say our opinion rather than not. Therefore I noticed the pleasure in saying my opinion to someone.

     Second, I thought the people who came from every where except Japan and the Japanese have same diversity. In general, in Japanese culture we do not speak our mind is a collocation our mind honestly and do not touch easily each other, even best friends. One day a foreign friend gave me a greeting that was a hug and kiss. Before I already understood foreign culture, but my real mind was really surprised. Nowadays I prefer this open-minded culture because we can feel our emotions jointly. I think this is a natural and human style.

     Third, I realized we are the same human. In Japan, we are almost all Japanese. This situation made me imagine that every foreigner can speak English even though they came from another country. For the Japanese, we can not recognize where someone came from. Therefore in first class I was really nervous that perhaps I had the worst English ability. But during class days, I understood I do not need to be afraid of my English ability. We are the same English students. We learn English and get the same experiences even though we are from different countries.

     The study abroad days gave me a special experience. Before I came I expected to improve my English ability, but I think I improved something important in my life. We each have different cultures, but we are the same humans. Before I gave up every time when I tried to do something, but If I try to do something, I definitely noticed that something is returned to me. This is the same thing even in our own countries. I will try to do actions that I did not think I could do before.


March 2009 


     Before I arrived here I knew a lot of things about the culture, customs, places and products of the United States, but have changed. For example the American’s diet, I thought was unhealthy and now living here, I see healthy food; American’s student have a really good diet. Before I thought the transport here was high-tech, but yesterday I went to Burlington by bus. It was as old as Uruguayan busses.

       The thoughts in my mind changed a lot. The American people are really kind, responsible, and respectable. When you go to cross street, the cars stop for you. It’s incredible!. The population is very conscious about environment, you call see all people recycling. It is very important. I don’t know what happen in other places in the United States, but Burlington is fantastic!. Maybe it is a special city. I love it. I would like to have the same lifestyle in my country in the future.



April 2009                                                     



                 Since I arrived St. Michael’s I have learned a lot of things. This experience give us the opportunity to learn about different culture like Japanese, Venezuelan, obviously the EEUU and others. One of the most important things that I learned here is that everybody can have a special way to think and this is something different but good. I am learning to live with different student and each one have their own personality. The personality that impresses me a lot is the Japanese personality, The Japanese are very patient and very respectful all the time. If we have problems, they always help us. They are really lovely. The Venezuelan people are very vigorous. They are dancing listening to music or singing all the time and American students are very funny. The American’s students that I spend more of my time with are my roommates, and all of them are very funny. They love to make jokes and watch movies and they like to eat sweets too. In my suite there are many packs of different kinds of sweets. It is there in the morning but maybe by afternoon it will disappear. That usually happens. The Japanese people are very correct and extremely responsible. When they can’t finish their homework for diverse reasons they feel very bad. The American people are very responsible too but they don’t look worried if they don’t do the homework. 

     I learn a lot of things in the class to improve my English. I learned grammar and reading and I did a lot of writing like this. In my opinion I have improved my pronunciation and of course my listening because when I arrived, I listened to people speaking and I could not understand anything. Nowadays I understand maybe not all that the people say but a big part of the conversation. It is very important for me to recognize these things. It means that the program is achieving its mission.


May 2009 


What I learned about United States…

     During the time that I have been in United States I have learned many things about different important topic, but there are two that in my opinion are the main important: the American students’ lifestyle and the American citizens. 
     The American student lifestyle is totally different from Uruguayan lifestyle. Here the people are used to planning all their activities. I could appreciate that Americans like to work and study hard during the week and relax on weekends; in contrast with this the Uruguayan people like doing activities in the middle of the week to relax. As a result the Uruguayans are more disorganized than Americans.                                                     
 Secondly, I really like especially the students who live at Saint Michaels. The American students are very friendly they; usually tried to communicate with us all the time. For example when we had lunch,  people who we didn’t know before sat with us and started to speak. I learned a lot about the student life here and I understood many things I couldn’t understand before.   Defiantly since I arrived, I have felt very comfortable like I was in my home.
      This is the true important new knowledge that I have learned. For this reason, I am sure I will miss these people and this place when I go home.






March 2009 

So many people live in America. A lot of races have immigrated to America since America was found. They have different customs. For example, food, religion, and the way of thinking are all different. Therefore, they conflict with each other sometimes. Then the government has tried to decrease their cultural friction and discrimination with education. Those social problems have diminished considerably in some aspect, but there are some problems which haven’t been solved yet.

      Hollywood movies are very popular worldwide. Of course they are popular in Japan. Everyone can watch Hollywood movies if they go to movie theater. New movies are distributed one after another. It takes huge capital to make a movie. Hollywood movies have so many different genres, for example Action, SF, Comedy, Documentary, and so on. So it can be said that movies are the primary industry in America.





                                                          -------------Tetsuro Ogura

April 2009 

What I noticed for 4weeks

                                                                Tetsuro Ogura



I realized the difference between Japan and America and other country in the classes that I take and out of class. Actually I think that I should have observed my friend’s behavior or other’s because it may be easy to notice cultural differences.

At first, every student, except Japanese students, felt free to speak about what they thought and felt. In most of the class time, we were silent until the teacher called on. So I felt the difference. In Japan, almost every Japanese student from elementary school to high school doesn’t have an opportunity to state their own opinion until the teacher calls individuals, but I exaggerate a little bit. Anyway, we have few chances to say our opinion in class. So I had felt very bored in Japanese class. There is an atmosphere in which everybody can’t say anything during class. I feel their classes are more interesting than Japanese ones.

I noticed the cultural difference out of class. In the English for servces, we sang our national anthem in front of the clients. Uruguayan, Colombian, Venezuelan and Japanese anthems. They sang it proudly and completely. And the day care center people stood and sang. I was not able to sing perfectly. Actually, I haven’t had many opportunities to sing our national anthem in Japan. I can remember only that I sang it on the day when I graduated from elementary school, junior high school and high school. Probably it may be due to Japanese education problem. Actually, this is because Japanese national anthem is for worshipping Tennou (emperor). Tennou was treated as a kind of god before World War . Some people think that singing means to conform to the military state of those days. If I sing the national anthem proudly, I am misunderstood as the right wing people. Probably most of the Japanese people have the idea that the last war was wrong thing. So recently, especially young people may not be completely able not to sing our national anthem. So I felt the historical background between Japan and other countres.

May 2009 

What I’ve heard about American culture


Tetsuro Ogura

I’ve already know that America is a diverse nation. The government has accepted a lot of immigrants, and now the amount of the population is almost three billion people. I heard about immigrants in our class and I wonder America really has  a culture? What is the definition of American culture?

        In my opinion, America has one culture. It is true that a lot of people who have different cultures are living in America and they are allowed to practice their own culture by the government, So America has a lot of culture. Is it true? I think it is not. The Salad bowl and patchwork quilt are suitable words for an expression of American society or culture, but I think it is not the best description of American culture. It should include the mixed part. On April 18, I went to Boston where many races, Asian, Africa, European, live. Probably they were almost immigrants, I think. They are completely adapted to American culture practicing their culture. Even if people are American-born, they were influenced by their parents or grandparents who have different backgrounds Then, what I want to say is that American culture is composed of two parts. One is the fundamental common part and the other is individual culture which every race has. In other words, the salad bowl or patchwork quilt includes a part of melting pot. Each culture melting together is the fundamental part.

            I felt the culture was composed of two parts in secondary school. It seems that America has already noticed the characteristic of American culture that I indicated. When I made the presentation of our culture in front of students in secondary school, I observed the classroom. I noticed that students have learned about a lot of cultures existing in American, because this was many proven by activities in the class room, and, after our presentation, they asked us about Korea and Japan. It seemed that America has a curriculum about mutual cultural understanding 

            When it comes to defining my view for American culture, I am not actually sure of the fundamental common American part of culture. I have stayed here for almost two month, but I can’t define that culture. Saying in different words may be a tradition. When I eat something at Alliot, I wonder which dish is American food or traditional food. I think, of course, that a hamburger is an American traditional food. Probably, there is no point in defining American culture with a Japanese interpretation, or it may be so complex that we can’t define American culture at all. Anyway, I lack an understanding of American culture by observation. What American culture is is going to be my subject

         It seems it is still early to define or explain American culture, but my opinion about American culture is composed of two part, the fundamental part and the individual part. I need more time to watch, listen and know America. 


March 2009 

Before coming here I knew United States of America have many cultural things. I really like American movies and I think that Hollywood productions are very interesting.  We know lot of actors, and many people in Uruguay like to see movies of one actor or actress on particular. In relation to that I want to say I like to read American Literature. My favorite’s writers are Edgar Allan Poe and William Faulkner. Trough this way I could know some of the form to think of American people, their costumes, what their like to do, things that everyone there use to do. Pictures are very important too, because when I saw photos of American places I could imagine how that are, and in what form people use to live. American houses are very known because this one have a particular architecture and colors. I knew too, about this country, things that many people know around de world. For example, I knew their flags, and their money. I knew many singers, like Britney Spear, Madonna, Hilary Duff, Bob Dylan, and others. Many American famous persons are known in many places. Some examples of this are Martin Luther King, John F. Kennedy, George Washington, Nixon, Marylyn Monroe. We studied many of this people in our history class, on Uruguay.

In other kind of things, I knew about food. United States of America are famous for have many places of fast food. In Uruguay we have four times to eat, one on the morning, other one on noon, another on the afternoon and the last one at night. We knew here there are three times to eat. And here, breakfast is the most important food, because people need energy for the rest of their day, but in Uruguay it is the less important food. American culture is so know around the world because television and internet are every time showing that.     

April 2009 

Inside the class we are leaning every day more about the U.S Government, such as the divisions it has and the various posts that have people who are working in the government, and more interesting things around which discussions are generated every day in class. I have learned from these exchanges of ideas the different ways that people from others countries, from an education and a culture completely different from mine think. These kinds of thing are teaching me to tolerate each others, but also to respect them and love them despite our differences. I could confirm that the American culture is not too different from mine, and there are many things (ideas, material things, ideals) coming from here.

In my life outside the classroom I could live together with people who have diverse nationalities. My English is getting better every day; at least that is what I believe. Through conversations, exchange of letters (or notices by post its), and others ways, I have improved my skills in many different ways like speaking, reading, listening, etc. I really think that this trip has opened my mind to the diversity, to loving it, to looking for it and it has given me strength to continue learning more about this world; it is absolutely wonderful and immense.

May 2009 


     When I arrived in the United States, I had a completely different view about this country, about the people who live here and about the way they think of. I knew many American films and T.V programs, but these didn´t show me the same reality that I discovered in
     I used to see American T.V series, such as "Friends", "The Simpsons" or "South Park".  These T.V programs showed an egocentric society in which people don’t share with each other and are joking about other cultures all the time. I also was aware about some issues of the U.S political situation. The inauguration of the new American president was very important and political all around the world, even in my country. Moreover, many Uruguayan people were as happy for these reason as many Americans about the election. Finally, I had studied many important facts about U.S history. I knew about the principal wars in the American history; about their national hero: George Washington and the evolution of the country since it was an English colony.
     After I came to Saint Mike’s, I could check that the T.V serials ever modified the reality. People who live here have different opinions about the others cultures but especially they have respect and tolerance for these.  Inside the class we talk a lot about the U.S government and customs. Through my host family I could learn more about the daily life of the Americans. I could see the way in what American living, cooking, studying and the relationship that they have with their children. In respective of the United States government, the classes were really useful.
     I’ve become in a United States defender because people here treaded me very well and they gave me the most that they could in attention, respect and love.      


March 2009 



     When I arrived the United States, everything I saw I already knew well. The university is just like the movies and the people who live here are too. The way the people move in the city is just like on the TV.


    Also US history started with George Washington and his strategy to win the war. There were other wars your country participated in.


     In my opinion many people know about United States. I think South America always knows what is happening in this country.

April 2009 



       This time in the United States I learn about their education; for example with the people I never think that

they were so nice and friendly.


      In other hand for example the traffic is so organized and respectful.


      Also something that I am impressed with is the huge diversity of people in your country. I know that it was something like this but no so important and significant.


      It’s very interesting to see this characteristic and the union that the people have in this country.


May 2009 








       These eight weeks have been great. I learned about a lot of things in the USA. All these experiences helped me to know other ways of life in all respects.

       One example is education. Education in this country is very important. The students responsible and honest. All this is thanks to your culture and customs. Generations and generations are worry about the education of the children. They save money to give the children the opportunity to study in a good institution. I think the education is the most important topic these days. A country without a good education is lost for me.

       The results are clear. The people are respectful and respect the rules. They have a responsible government who do the things that should be done.

       In this country if you are responsible and good citizen, you can live very well and in peace. Maybe the people around the world need to know about all this. This is because the world sometimes sees the USA as a country with bad intentions. One thing is the policy of the country and another is the people who live in it.

       Meeting new people is the best and meeting good people even better. Learning about their culture brings you an overview that is very interesting and rewarding.

      This opportunity has been one of the best in my life.


March 2009 

I think this is a great place and my experience here is everything that I’d expected; for example the houses are equal to the American films. It is amazing.

In addiction, the people here are very friendly, and have help me always when I need it.

The food is really good and it’s never the same. I like and admire the discipline here. It is really great to be here.

April 2009 

Here the time for meal is different. Here the dinner is at six o clock. However  in my country we eat late at night, at eleven o clock. The people here drink a lot of coffee, and they are more friendly and respectful.

The United States has a lot of  diversite cultures. A lot of people in different parts of the word emigrated to live here. For example  there are Asian, Japanese, Europeans and South Americans.They live  here nowadays  and that makes the different cultural mix here.



May 2009 

The past two months here was really wonderfull.I enjoyed and lern a lot abot the United Satates.

I have lived here almost two months and I thik that this exeprience is unbilibable. Naw I going to explaind abot some important think tat I learned here.

The Government the United States is based   on  the principles of Federalism and democracy, and, I has three branches; the Executive is composed of the vice-president and president. The Legislative, Congress, makes of laws. The Judicial branch is the court and it functions is interpreting laws and decidgning a law is constitutional or not.

The United States has 50 States. Since the seventeenth century a lot of people the different part of the world immigranted to the United States looking better opportunities or freedom and peace. In fact nowadays is a multicultural country. The people here are really friendly and the rules are hard. There are only three important meals, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The second most used language is Spanish. Study at the University isn’t free. The buildings are in general make with wood. The weather has the four seasons well defined and the winter is really cold with snow.

In conclusion I think that United States is a beautiful country.




March 2009 

I don’t know a lot about the USA, I know just a movie of High School Musical. I like this movie very much. I feel the difference between the USA and Japan. It is about the high school. I think the high schools of the USA are very large, beautiful and fun. I was very surprised. I wanted to go to this high school. We have drama club in Japan, but we rarely do musical. It is so much fun. The main character belongs to a basketball club, and they have cheerleaders. The cheering is very powerful, so I was very surprised. They have a lot of events in this movie. In Japan, we can drive after we are 18 years old, and we usually cannot go to school by car. The reason why I think most high school students are under 18 years old, and the buildings of Japanese high schools are so small. However, the high school students of the USA in this movie, drive and they go to school in their own car!! I was very surprised about that.

We usually don’t have a party in Japan, but they have a lot of parties in the USA, so I feel it is a lot of fun! They have a New Year’s Eve party, and after they won the game, they have a party. It’s so amazing! I feel the summer vacation is very special for students of the USA. They have a lot of special things in the USA. We have many differences between the USA and Japan.


April 2009 

Four weeks have passed since I came here. I do not know whether I can understand English more than before I came here or not. In the class, I am learning the politics and history of the United States. I did not know about that until I studied in Saint Michael's College because in Japan, we do not learn the details about the government and history of the foreign countries. In Japan, we cannot choose the Prime Minister directly, and in the United States they cannot either. I thought they could vote for the President directly, so I misunderstood. In addition, they can vote directly for their candidate, so I was very surprised. For me, I think the United States is the strongest country in the world now. However, they had problems between Native Americans and Europeans in the past. Europe was the strongest a long time ago. I do not believe that now. Our class is still difficult for me, but I can learn the politics and the history of United States much better step by step.

      It is still difficult for me to talk with friends without using Japanese, but I think talking with others is very good to develop my English abilities. Actually, it is very hard. When I came here, the most difficult thing was using the transportation, especially buses, because in Japan, we have announcements. The announcements let us know every time that we arrive at the bus stops, so we easily understand where we get off. However, I will still get lost without my friends, of course, I cannot use Japanese! In Boston, it was very hard for me to use the train. In Japan we also have a lot of trains, but it is very different from here. It is very different and it is very difficult. I just followed my friends in Boston. However, Boston is a very beautiful city and it has a lot of beautiful buildings, so I was very excited! This was my first time to go to Boston, and the USA, so I want to go to a lot of places in the United States. It is very different learning English in the class and having daily conversation with my friends, so I want to learn English in various situations.




May 2009 

What I have learned about the US



            After I came to the US, I learned a lot of things about the US. That happened both inside classes and outside.

            I am studying American politics, history and the nation. If I had not come here, I think I would never have studied them. It is very hard for me, but it is very interesting. The class is also interesting. In Japan, I have few assignments, but I have a lot of them here. The teachers are friendly, but some of them are strict, so I have to try to study hard. Thanks to the teachers and assignments, my English ability could grow little by little. The class is hard compared to my university in Japan, but the teachers teach us doing their best, so I am happy to study here. My university in Japan has a very small site, so I am excited to be able to study in such a large college.

            I like the people here. Everyone is friendly and kind. I have a lot of friends here. I like them very much. They are also active. In Japan, it is very quiet except for the people talking each other during the class. Very few students ask the questions of their teacher, and few people answer the teacher’s questions. They are very shy, so I was very surprised when I listened to the undergraduate class. A lot of people are very interesting.

            It is hard for me to eat junk food in SMC everyday. Sometimes I miss Japanese food. I do not usually eat pizza, hamburgers or French fries. I want to eat healthy food like fish or salad. And sometimes I want to take a bath and relax.

            Sometimes I get culture shock and I want to go back to Japan, but I like it here and I like SMC. I will learn more things about the US staying here.



March 2009 

Aristote Zabili

April 21, 2009

Intermodal Core

Barbara Sargent



What I know about USA and Other culture?

There are many things learning about the American culture but what I have learned since this class started is not that much. I was living in the USA for about nine years. I came when I have been eleven years old from The Democratic Republic of the Congo. I started 7th grade here at a school call Edmunds Middle school, and after that I when to high school at Burlington High School. So far I like the American culture but there also is something I don’t like. I don’t have a lot of memories of my own culture but I have same.

Since the Intensive English Program started, I have also learned a lot about myself and other cultures. I learned different ways to improve my English language. I have learned different grammar skills like the right way to use to and too. I have learned the different body language symbol in my oral skill like hand gestures, making eye contact, facial expression and many other thing. I also have learned different way American and other culture like to be touched or how faraway you need to be when talking to some one. In my country, it doesn’t mater the way you touch someone or how far away you are from someone.

I also have learned about the Uruguay and Japanese. I have learned that the Uruguayans use more body language than the Japanese. Some times using a lot of body language in Japan is a sign of disrespect. I learned that the Uruguay touch a lot like kiss, hugging and many other things. I have learned about the different kinds of food and drink like mate. I’m happy I have this chance to learn about all these different cultures.       


April 2009 

What you know about US culture



The thing I know about the American culture is that there are many things to talk about. There are the holidays like thanksgiving, and Halloween. Secondly there is the American dream.

There are two holidays that American have that other countries don’t have. The first one is Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving has been a traditional holiday for Americans for a long time. On fourth the last Thursday of November, every American takes time to thank for something in their lives and it is also a time to be with your family. Because no that many people get to be with their all, that give them a chance. I have had many of thanksgiving and I like it. I think every year it brings my family closer. Halloween is also a small tradition holidays in the states and many American celebrated it. Halloween it mostly celebrated by young kids. The kids around the country dresses up in to different costumes and goes around asking for theats like chocolate and many other things. 

Lastly is the American dream. Many Americans came to the USA because of the American Dream.  They believe that they can have a better life. Also they believe that their future is going to be brighter.  The American dream helps all Americans work hard because they know what they are working for. I strongly believe in the American Dream and I think if anyone put their mind to anything they can do it.

In conclusion I like the American culture and there are many other  things that I didn’t talk afaut. I don’t think that I know all of America and I want to keep learning.




May 2009 

Aristote Zabili

May 13, 2009

Intermediate Core

Barbara Sargent

American Culture



            There are many things to talk about in the American culture. From the early twentieth century, there was a lot of diversity in the American culture and ways of life. Much of the diversity was due to the number of Hispanics immigrants coming to the United States at the time.  There were also metaphors have been created about the ways to describe the country, diversity in the such as a melting pot or what most people say today is salad bowl or in another way patchwork quilt. All of those things were happening fast and changing with the country at the same time.

            In the twentieth century there were a lot of immigrants coming to the United States for a new or better life. The more immigrants came to the country, and the more it became diverse. Diversity was a positive and negative thing at the same time. The positive thing about diversity was that all Americans were able to learn about other culture and try to understood it nevertheless there was negative immigrants that have   became citizens that didn’t want accept diversity because maybe they didn’t understood the new immigrants culture.

            With a lot of immigrants coming to the United States; most were Hispanics especially Mexican. The Hispanics brought a lot to the American culture reminiscent of their country from food to music, and they had a lot of artistic skills. The number of Hispanics has changed over the years and it continues to change. Same analysts believe that the quantity of Hispanic vote helped George W. Bush win in the last presidential election.

            Today the metaphors used to best describe the country are the salad bowl and patchwork quilt. The salad bowl and patchwork quilt represent the different culture or countries that are in the United State and how they make up into one culture with deference. However back in the early time of our county they used the melting pots which mean that everything was coming in to one.

            As a result of having immigrants coming to live here,  American has good things and bad things about it is culture similar to any other countries in the world. It is diverse in the number of immigrants coming to it different metaphors. To end there is a quote from the internet. “Beyond the walls of our home lies a great Nation with a culture of its own. The structures of our Government, our laws and the way people relate to each other have great influence on our actions and attitudes. What do you think about when you hear the words: The United States of America? "The land of the free and the home of the brave". Many of us think of that quote, or quote from the song: "America the Beautiful", like "spacious skies" or "amber waves of grain".”  










Comments (3)

Christine Bauer-Ramazani said

at 6:54 pm on Jan 14, 2009

Nice job, Barb!!! I will get my own lexical notebook going soon. This is a great example, though. May I copy the table? Thanks!


at 8:36 pm on Feb 25, 2009

One suggestion:

The American Continent is divided in 3 parts; North America, Central America, and South America. Therefore, we are all Americans, so the question should be; What do you know about North American Culture?. I say this because we are all Americans.
Thank you!
I am not trying to say something bad, its only I always make a comment about it when I see this kind of things. But, what can I do, it has many years to exist, hahaha, that's ok, no problem, all we are brothers and sisters yuju!!!

:) Have a nice day!!!

Christine Bauer-Ramazani said

at 8:51 pm on Mar 4, 2009

Brothers and sisters, indeed, Jorge. That's a great way of putting it and expresses how close we have become.

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