Latest My life in the UK

My life in the UK

Raika Yoshinari
Raika Yoshinari
Raika is a Japanese student studying business at the University of Chichester in the UK. She didn't know anyone when she arrived, but she's quickly settled in.

My name is Raika Yoshinari and I’m the only Japanese student at the University of Chichester, Bognor campus. I’m studying Business Management with International English.

I came here because I love the UK. My first visit was when I was 15. I loved everything in the UK, so I came back here during the summer holiday when I was a senior high school student all by myself. However, a summer holiday wasn’t enough for me, so I decided to study abroad at a British university.

University life is not as comfortable as I thought it would be. The previous schools I had attended were only for international students, so I could socialise with other Japanese students. However, as I said before, there are no Japanese students on campus, so I have to communicate only in English.

The beginning of university life was a bit stressful as my English level was that of a five-year-old. I couldn’t understand what people were saying. Now I’m gradually learning and understanding things in context.

I lived with a British family when I was in my 1st year. They supported me all the time, and thanks to them I got used to living and working here.

Last month, I joined one of the university events called ‘Rox in the Park’ as an international student. I did a demonstration on origami (the Japanese paper craft) to local people. I’m very grateful for this opportunity as I got to interact with small children, something I rarely have the chance to do.

In my opinion, English spoken by adults and English spoken by children are two very different things. My host family had a granddaughter and I used to play with her a lot, so I wasn’t expecting that talking with a lot of children would make my brain overheat!

It is absolutely fantastic having to think in English constantly. Usually, I consider what I will say in Japanese, then translate to English, then say it. But I have no time to do it now. Also, I haven’t taught origami before, but children looked like they enjoyed it even when I did something wrong. This boosted my confidence, and I really had a wonderful time with them!