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  • An interview with Zamina,an international student studying at Seiseiko

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  • 熊本県立済々黌高等学校

An interview with Zamina,an international student studying at Seiseiko


(Ms. Zamina Schager, who was from Sweden, studied at our school from October 12 to November 4.)


Today, I sat down with Zamina, an international student studying here at Seiseiko High School, and asked her a few questions about things such as her impressions of Japan and Seiseiko High School. You can read the questions and Zamina's answers below.


  1. How does Sweden compare to Japan?

    The biggest difference is the culture. For example, at the bus stop here everyone greets me and says "Ohayo gozaimaus," and they are very friendly towards me. In Sweden, people do not greet strangers with a "Good morning," and just mind their own business.


  2. What is your impression of Seiseiko High School?

Seiseiko is very strict compared to my school in Sweden. It's not a bad thing, because we learn more in the classroom. I also notice that all of the students are very good and are always trying their best. In P.E. class, for example, the students all give their best effort and there is much more energy than compared to in P.E. class at my school in Sweden. The teachers are also really kind, and they help me whenever I have a problem like if I get lost.


  1. How would you compare your school life in Sweden versus Japan?

A big difference is that in Sweden, we don't stand up when the teacher comes in to the room, and there are no "Good mornings" from either the students or the teachers. Also, we can use smartphones and computers in Sweden, while at Seiseiko, smartphones are not allowed. Lunches here are different, too. In Sweden, school and lunch are provided for free, but I have to buy my lunch or bring an obento to Seiseiko every day. I've recently started bringing my obento to school every day. I would also say Japanese high schools are very good at preparing students in primary subjects, like math, science, and history, whereas Sweden emphasizes language education. In Sweden, people learn English and can speak both Swedish and English fluently, and when students are about thirteen years old, they can choose a third language to study if they want.



  1. What were some things that were hard to get used to since coming to Japan?

Getting used to the food was a little difficult, because there is a variety of Japanese food that is not eaten in Sweden, like the many different types of fish. For example, here in Japan breakfast consists of many types of dishes, whereas in Sweden I would just eat toast or cereal. Communication was something I also thought was hard to get used to, like when you talk to someone older than you or a teacher, you have to speak more politely. In Sweden, we call everyone by their first name. Even when I would see my school principal in Sweden, I would call him by his first name. We don't have to use the titles "mister" or "miss." Also, Japanese is very difficult, and at first I couldn't understand anything that was being said. But now, after being here for about a month, I can pick up words from a conversation and piece the meaning together.


  1. What do you think you will remember ten to fifteen years from now about Japan?

I will remember Seiseiko High School, because we spend a lot of time in school every day. When you have a chance to really experience living in a foreign country, you truly understand how life there is like from eating, going to school, and talking with people every day, compared to the experiences of someone just visiting as a tourist.


  1. When you return to Sweden, what kinds of things will you tell people about Japan?

Japan is both strict and not-strict at all. The students are very busy, but it's not like they are studying 24 hours a day; they still go and do fun stuff and meet with friends after school. It's more like Sweden than you would think.




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