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August 12, 2020

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The Icon goes global as we launch a series on ONU international students

Americans always eat French fries and pizza?!

Welcome to a new Ada Icon feature. We call it "Hi! I am a foreigner." This feature includes interviews with Ohio Northern University international students. Icon intern, Elizaveta Dyachuk, a student from Russia, conducts the interviews. Our first feature follows:

Yuuki Okada
English pronunciation:Yuki
Your nationality: Japanese
Year at ONU:  Freshman
Major at ONU: Graphic design

Icon: How did you hear about ONU?
From the study abroad organization. I was choosing between Canadian and American universities, but the American ones have easier policies with regards to international students (more welcoming), so I chose the U.S. The state and the university prevailed because there are not so many Japanese students who come here, and I can immerse myself in the culture more. 

Icon: What city did you grow up in? What is its population?
Saitama, and its population is 1,264,000 people.

Icon: How do you communicate with your family while in the U.S.? 
Japanese messenger: LINE (face time and texts). 

Icon: What do you hope to do with your degree/work in the future?
I want to work for a Japanese company in the advertising department that is located in the U,S, or other countries.

Icon: How many languages do you speak?
English, Japanese and a little bit of French.

Icon: What other countries in the world have you visited so far?
The U.S., Korea, Indonesia, France, Singapore.

Icon: What is the biggest culture shock you experienced when arriving at ONU?
Americans always eat French fries and pizza; I am tired of eating French fries and pizza! I love it, but not every day! 

Icon: What’s the biggest surprise you’ve discovered about the United States?
If we don’t know each other, we still can talk a lot and then at the end of the day, we can become good friends. It’s very interesting for Japanese. In Japan we are united by the same school, same organization or something that helps us spend much time together and become good friends eventually. 

Icon: Do you homesick? What do you miss the most from home?  
Yes, my family and friends.

Icon: What food do you miss from home? Can you describe the food that you miss?
Fresh fish like sushi and good quality meat like Kurogewagyu (it’s a type of Japanese cow). 

Icon: Is there somewhere in the United States that you hope to visit?
New York and Boston.

Icon: Are you accustomed to Ohio’s cold winters?
No, I don’t like the winter season, in general. Winter makes me sadder, and I have a not very good mood because of that. I hope spring is coming soon. 

Icon: What has been your favorite experience so far in the U.S.?
New York has been a very great experience. Before I went to New York city, I’d visited my roommate’s house. We were baking cookies and went to the zoo after that. Also, we’ve been to the Cedar Point with the international team. I got to experience American rollercoasters. It was so much fun. I’m glad to become friends with the students from ONU.  

Thanks for talking with us. We hope you continue to have a good experience at ONU, Ada and in the United States.