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Studying Abroad With TLC: Youhei’s Story TLC 語学留学:陽平の留学物語

Interview by Risa Okayama, TLC Alumni and Intern

Risa is completing her degree in Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A) at TLC Host Campus, University of Central Oklahoma

Hello! I’m Risa Okayama from Japan. I’m a former TLC student and gladly, I’m doing an internship with TLC. I had an opportunity to have an interview with a former, Japanese, TLC student, Youhei Shimozaki. He was studying English at TLC a few years ago and he’s a graduate student now! He wants to share his experience at TLC with you. If you’re thinking about studying abroad, please don’t miss the opportunity!


Q&A for Youhei, a former TLC student

Q1: Why did you decide to study abroad in America?

A1: There is a program to be an athletic trainer that I’m interested in at UCO’s master so that’s why I chose TLC. UCO is TLC’s host campus.

Q1: アメリカ留学しようと思ったきっかけは?

A1: 夢であるATC(アスレチックトレーナー)になるため。

Q2: What are three things that you like about Oklahoma and Edmond

A2: Safe, clean, peaceful

Q2: エドモンドの好きなところを3つ教えてください

A2: 安全、綺麗、静か

Q3: Could you explain a little about your experience with your American homestay?

A3: They are warm-hearted people, sweet and good at cooking.

Q3: ホームステイはどんな人たちですか?

A3: とても暖かく、料理も美味しく、優しい、いい方々でした。

Q4: What do you think about TLC’s teachers?

A4: All teachers were nice and kind. Also, it is good that teachers are different by the level. I learned more about knowledge at the high level and teachers gave me motivation for studying when I was at the low level.

Q4: TLCの先生についてどうおもいますか?

A4: 先生は熱心で優しく、わかりやすく教えてくれます。クラスのレベルにより先生が違うのは良いことだと思います。上位のレベルのクラス先生がたには多くの知識を学び、下位のクラスの先生には学ぶモチベーションを与えてもらったと思います。

Q5: Where were your classmates from?

A5: Vietnam, China, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Columbia, and Portugal.

Q5: クラスメートはどこの国出身ですか?

A5: 主に韓国、ベトナム、中国で他に少数派としてサウジアラビア、ポルトガル、コロンビアです。

Q6: What’s your main source of transportation in Edmond?

A6: When I was with a homestay, it was a car and a bicycle. (I just recommend you use the bicycle around UCO campus)

Q6: 主な交通手段は?

A6:  ホームステイ先の送り迎えと自転車です。(大学周辺以外での自転車はオススメしません)

Q7: What were you most surprised when you came to America?

A7: Refill service at a restaurant and paying with a credit card for splitting the check

Q7: アメリカに来て一番驚いたことは?

A7: 飲食店でのリフィルサービスとクレジットカードでの割り勘

Q8: What are three big differences between America and Japan?

A8: I learned the importance of telling my feeling and appreciation directly to people

Q8: カルチャーショックはありましたか?あったとしたらどんなことでしたか?

A8: 日本よりも家族を大切にすることをダイレクトに表すことで、感謝や自分の気持ちをちゃんと口に出す大切さを知れました。

Q9: Have you eaten any “American food”?

A9: I have. I’ve eaten Mexican food, Tacos, and Nachos, which I hardly can find it in Japan.

Q9: 日本でいうようなアメリカンフードは食べましたか?

A9: 基本、いろんなもん食べてます。日本であまり食べないもので食べてるのはタコスやナチョスなどのメキシカン料理です。

Q10: What was your English level when you arrived at U.S.?

A10: My score was 48 for TOEFL-PBT and 550 for TOEIC. These scores were same as around a level 6 of TLC. I wasn’t good at speaking at all.

Q10: アメリカに来た当初の英語のレベルは?

A10: TOEFL-PBTが48、TOEIC550くらいだったはずです。ほとんど喋れてないです。

Q11: What’s the difference between American English education and Japanese English education?

A11: A grammar class is easy in U.S. However, listening and writing are the hardest parts. U.S. English education is more focused on writing and grammar. To improve listening and writing skills, it is important to talk with American friends outside of a class.

Q11: アメリカと日本の英語教育の違いは?

A11: アメリカでの文法の授業は本当に簡単です。ただしリスニングやライティングは日本で相当やってなければかなりキツく、スピーキングはまず無理です。ただし、アメリカでは文法とライティングを叩き込まれるので、しっかり授業外でネイティブの学生や友人と話すことが大切です。

Q12: What is the best thing of TLC?

A12: They offer specialized classes of TOEFL and IELTS at TLC and their teachers are excellent. Also, teachers made time for answering my questions and practicing interviewing with me so, they were really flexible.

Q12: TLCのベストな事は?

A12: TOEFLとIELTSに特化したクラスがあり、その先生が非常に優秀です。またクラス外での質問や放課後にクラスを開いてもらったり、面接のために個人のクラスを作ってもらったりと非常に融通が効きました。

Q13: Do you recommend TLC? If so, why? Or if not, why not?

A13: I recommend Japanese to come to TLC because there are many kind and dedicated teachers.

Q13: TLCを留学を考えている日本人におすすめしますか?

A13: 優しい先生に熱心な先生が多くオススメです。

It is important to note that Oklahoma education accredidation requires international students to meet at least a minimum TOEFL score and complete at least 12 weeks of English practice in the upper levels of TLC’s program. It is recommended to finish level 9 at TLC and if doing Graduate studies, to complete APL. Many of TLC’s other partner schools will accept completion of TLC’s level 9 Intensive Program or Business English Program in place of a TOEFL score. If you have any additional questions about TLC’s university partners or studying abroad with The Language Company, please let us know by emailing info@thelanguagecompany.com. Share your academic goals with TLC before you even arrive and we will help to counsel you to prepare for the most appropriate academic path.



Home Away From Home: 聖輝のホームステイ経験談


Home Away From Home: Masaki’s Homestay Experience

Interview and photos by Risa Okayama, TLC Alumni and Intern

Risa is completing her degree in Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A) at TLC Host Campus, University of Central Oklahoma


Q&A for Ann, TLC Homestay Mom

Why did you decide to be homestay? I wanted to give my children the opportunity to get to know students from different countries. I wanted my children to appreciate all the different cultures of the world.



How long have you been doing homestay? I have been doing homestay for 18 years.



What is the best part of living with international students? I would say my favorite parts are getting to know the different personalities of the students and the differences in their cultures.




What would you say to international students who are interested in living with an American family? It is very important because being a part of an American family is the only way to truly practice conversational English, and feel like they can fit in while in this culture.



From your perspective, what is the benefit of living with homestay? I think the constant interactions with the American family and extended family members is the biggest benefit to the international student.



What are the different nationalities that you have hosted? I have hosted students from Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Panama, Venezuela, Africa, and Vietnam.



What have you learned from hosting internationals? I have learned how similar they are to American kids in the way they like to have fun, learn, and joke around. I have learned how it feels to be loved and considered a mom to so many young adults from different countries.





Q&A for Masaki, TLC and JCFL Japanese student

What do you like the most about living with homestay? My homestay always takes me to the lake and theaters during weekend.




Do you think it is helpful to learn and develop your English by living with a homestay? Why or why not? I think it is helpful, especially to improve your listening because I hear English every day and my homestay talks fast and with a lot of energy in English. Therefore, when I talk with other people now, I can catch English much better.




What kinds of activities have you had with your homestay so far? I have been here almost two months and I have enjoyed doing Summer activities like having a BBQ, Kayaking, and sailing at the lake with my homestay.




What surprised you the most about living with an American Family? My homestay doesn’t care about little things. When I came to her home, I expected to have many rules, but she just expects me to keep my room clean.



Do you enjoy American food? What is your favorite American dish? I enjoy steaks, lasagna, diamond tea, cereal, and hotdogs.



What has surprised you about American culture? American people respect and practice their religion very openly. My homestay has prayer before every meal.



Would you consider your homestay a home away from your home? Yes, Ann and Gary welcomed me as one of their family members.




Sample American Homestay


Note to Readers: This is just a sample homestay. Each home may vary. Required services, accommodations, and policies for homestay are published on TLC’s website. TLC has many experienced homestays and homestay is available at each TLC location.








Written by McGovern Education Group, Contributions by Mina Morgan, TLC VP

Lie #1. I should only apply to Top 50 ranked US universities.

There are more than 4,000 universities in the United States and no one, including a magazine ranking system, can accurately determine which is the best school for you. Unless your academic profile is in the 95th percentile, your Top 50 university application will likely be denied. We recommend you find a international student placement agency in the United States that can help you discover great-fit American universities for your academic profile.

Lie #2. I should only apply to the universities with low tuition fees.

Many “affordable” universities with low acceptance requirements are not regionally accredited, which means your investment may result in a disappointing educational experience. Examine the curriculum guide on each university’s website to see if the degree program offered is a good match for you. Create a list of questions and schedule a video conference call with the international admissions department. Again, a knowledgeable international student placement agency can save you time, money, and a lot of frustration.

Lie #3. I need to apply to at least ten universities.

In the end, you can only attend one university. If you are unable to determine the unique differences between 10 universities then look for the aid of an academic advisor or placement agency such as McGovern Education Group. There are many free online resources that can help you get started. However, studying abroad is a big investment, so we recommend finalizing your plans with help of an educational professional. Let McGovern help you to plan your complete study abroad experience from arranging any necessary ESL courses with our exclusive ESL partner, The Language Company, to finding the right university that fits your credentials, program preference, and budget. Finally, keep in mind that the application processes for universities can be time consuming and expensive. Therefore, narrow your list of prospective schools before applying and going for your visa appointment because moving schools and states can be quite costly too!

Lie #4. I should make my decision based solely off of the advice of an online review/agent/relative/friend.

While reputation and recommendation should be highly considered in making a decision about your study abroad destination, please remember that you should do your own research to make sure your personal preferences and needs will be met by a particular school or city. Registered agents (TLC and McGovern have many that we can recommend worldwide), social media, family and friend referral, government/embassy education websites, and google can assist in providing some guidance on a given institution, general locale information, and immigration procedures.  However, we highly recommend that you also consider turning to an experienced, American placement counselor before making your final decision because they will know more about each university he or she represents (and the surrounding city). You can also rely on these professionals should something go wrong, to help answer questions before, after, and during study, and for sound study abroad advice. Unfortunately, Wikipedia will not be there to help you if your institution refuses to give you a refund due to visa denial or denies your acceptance because of lack of English proficiency or if you are stuck at the port of entry.

Lie #5. International student placement agencies are expensive.

A good placement agent serves as a kind of trusted advisor who can help you choose from the 4,000+ US universities, avoid application mistakes, receive application fee waivers and visa interview training, and significantly improve your chances of getting into your dream school in the United States. McGovern offers these services at no cost to international students.

Lie #6. My university application essay doesn’t matter.

Your essay is your opportunity to write directly to the admissions committee, who will determine if you will be accepted or denied. If your statement of purpose essay contains errors or is plagiarized or is too vague, then you have will likely be denied. Many programs are very competitive so do not waste your chance to shine.

Lie #7. It is acceptable to transfer to another university upon arrival.

If you arrive in the US on a visa provided by one university with the intention of immediately transferring to another university, you are in a sense violating immigration regulations. In addition, different institutions have different refund policies so you may be putting yourself at financial risk. You are also potentially putting your immigration status at risk by not planning ahead because most universities are not going to accept you overnight. Many universities do not take too kindly to this type of unethical action and generally do not make it easy to transfer.

Lie #8. Universities are better than colleges.

There is no significant difference between a college and a university in the United States. For example, Dartmouth College and Harvard University are both highly selective and are both Ivy League schools. Additionally, sometimes it is easier, especially for an international applicant to start at a college and then move on to a reputable university.

Lie #9. I can get a free university education in the United States.

Most US colleges and universities do offer international scholarships for well-qualified applicants; however, we are unaware of any US university offering a fully funded (free) education to international students, unless it is specialized student and a specialized program.

Lie #10. I can easily get accepted to a US medical school or law school.

Applying for either medical school or law school is not advised. Both applications are extremely unlikely to be approved. A law degree makes a student an expert in US law and is therefore not applicable to international students returning home. Most public institutions will not accept international students for medical school because of funding restraints and transcript credit issues. In many cases a law degree in other countries does not equate to the credentials of a lawyer in the United States.

For more information about TLC university partners, please visit our Cooperative Institution Database

For more information about our FREE and exclusive placement service, please visit McGovern Education Group.

For more information about how TLC can prepare you for university study and admission, visit The Language Company

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