My experience with FBI was short but interesting. The club only met about once a month for a member movie marathon, and otherwise met in different locations for film shoots. With KCJS trips, it was difficult to meet with this CIP. The few times I met with everyone, I had an enjoyable time and would have liked to talk to the members more.
In order to participate in more CIP activities I started joining weekly 交流会. The Japanese members were very warm and easy to talk to. I spoke mostly in Japanese with them, but when they asked to speak English, I found it strangely uncomfortable and could not wait to switch back to Japanese. I will continue participating in 交流会 and hopefully next semester be a more active member in FBI. I am surprised that by going to 交流会 I do not feel like I am missing out on my other CIP. The 交流会 students are much easier to talk to as they are conducting a meeting with the intention of meeting with international students. FBI, while friendly, is a bit harder to feel comfortable in because the students are probably not used to foreign exchange students joining their already close team.
By the end of this semester’s CIP activities, I have discovered that speaking to Japanese students feels fairly similar to speaking with my host parents. I was pleasantly surprised by how warm and welcoming the 交流会 students were and will have to strongly think about staying with them during my spring semester. Though there is a schedule during every meeting, it feels very casual and I enjoy the time I spend with everyone. By talking to the Japanese students I learned various things, such as American stereotypes felt by Japanese students. It was a fun exchange. Each of us had an Ipod or Iphone so we exchanged our favorite apps and games. Our group discussed different hand gestures and their meanings in Japan and America. The gestures themselves were the same but their meanings were quite different. Every student I met was very polite, and offered their own dinner for others. My experience in America and Japan are entirely different, simply because of the polite, open manner of the Japanese students.