Archived Stories for Union County Public Schools
Welcome to America, Kaomi Nagasawa
Japanese exchange student, Kaomi Nagasawa, is integrating nicely into the culture of both Piedmont and America. His school in Japan is significantly different than Piedmont, but he is quick to say that he loves it here. “People in America are very friendly. Japanese people never speak to strangers, but people speak to me all the time here.”
In an interview with Kaomi, we asked him how Piedmont was different from his school in Japan. “I had to wear a school uniform wherever I went at school. At Piedmont, we don’t have to wear uniforms and some people dress crazy! Piedmont has a huge stadium and many ‘school yards’. Japanese high schools don’t have a stadium. In Tokyo, students take an underground subway or commuter train to school. We also take 13 classes in Japan: Japanese, Classic Japanese, English, World History, Computers, Math, PE, and many more. We have seven classes in a day for 45 minutes each and students have to clean up their classrooms every day. We have to attend a Homeroom class every day and no one can drive to school.” Kaomi’s hardest class here at Piedmont is English because Japanese and English are quite different. “People speak too fast for me here!” he noted, but he is getting better every day at both speaking and writing the English language.
While at Piedmont, Kaomi has joined the marching band. This, too, has been a new experience for him. “I play the bass clarinet and I have never played in a marching band in Japan, so it is the first time for me to play in a marching band. In Japan, I was in the wind orchestra and played both clarinet and bass clarinet. In Japan, high schools do not have a big enough school ground to march and the sounds may be a nuisance to the many neighbors!” Kaomi loves watching baseball so he is also planning to attend many Panther baseball games in the spring.
The culture of America has also been an adjustment for Kaomi. “American foods are BIG!. Everything is very tasty but I’m getting fat! People at Piedmont are great. They help me a lot, especially with daily life and studying. I have never been homesick because I love you all!” Kaomi’s American experience is very important to his goals in life. “My dream in the future is to be an airline pilot, so I need to study English more. That is why I wanted to be an exchange student in America.”
Written by: Donna Helms, Web Editor
Posted: Oct 26, 2012 by Donna Helms