Suzuki adjusts to life in Alabama

Suzuki adjusts to life in Alabama

Misaki Nio is an exchange student from Japan double majoring in English and Chinese. CW | Becca Murdoch

Becca Murdoch

Shiori Suzuki, a senior majoring in English education, traveled over 6,700 miles from her hometown of Chiba, Japan, to attend The University of Alabama. Chiba is roughly an hour away from Tokyo, Japan, where she departed for a 15-hour flight to Birmingham, Alabama. When Suzuki first began classes, she said she found them hard to understand, but with the help of her classmates, she acclimated well and now helps American students study Japanese.

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Q: Why did you come to America and choose UA?

A: Basically, America and Japan have a good relationship politically and economically, which is why I chose America over places like Great Britain or Australia. I chose UA because I came as a student from Chiba University for a short, month-long study abroad program, and I really liked the people, especially the people at this university. UA and Chiba University have had a strong relationship for a very long time.

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Q: What do you like about campus?

A: The best thing is the people here and all the friends I’ve made here. They’re really friendly and even strangers talk to me and say hi to me. I really like that.

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Q: What do you not like about campus?

A: There are very few choices for Asian food, like good Japanese food.

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Q: What’s the most different from your home country?

A: I think people are friendly and more talkative over here. American people have more open minds compared to Japanese people back home.

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Q: Was it hard to adjust?

A: Not so much. All of the people here have been very helpful.

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Q: What are the weirdest things Americans do?

A: American people keep wearing shoes even when they’re inside of the room so it’s a bit weird for me.

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Q: What is your favorite thing Americans do?

A: As I said, people smile at me; even people I don’t know talk to me and start conversations. I really like that.

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Q: How do you feel about American food?

A: The food is good, but it’s a bit oily or greasy for me. Also, the portions of food are a bit too much.

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Q: How do you feel about Alabama’s weather?

A: It’s a bit strange because Japan always has calm weather. It’s been hard to accustom myself to it, but I like it because it’s fairly warmer than Japan.