Three young students pictured.

A group of students from Jissen University in Japan recently concluded their English language program at SDSU Global Campus’ American Language Institute. Before they jumped on the plane back to Tokyo, we sat down with three of the students. They told us more about their experience at SDSU this winter, what they enjoyed most about being in San Diego, and which American food they wished they could take back home with them.

The students, Eri Okazaki, Saya Egawa, and Anna Kawaraji, spent about a month studying English with us. For Kawarji and Egawa, it was their first time leaving their home country but Okazaki had spent some time in the United States as a child.

Eri Okazaki

Her father worked in Maryland for about two years when Okazaki was in elementary school, so she and her family saw a lot of the country already – including New York City, Florida, Las Vegas, and the Grand Canyon.

Her take on San Diego compared to those areas she had visited before?

“The weather is so nice here,” Okazaki said. “It was snowy and cold in Maryland.”

During her time in San Diego, Okazaki ventured out all over the area and even made a visit to Los Angeles to see the Hollywood Sign and Disneyland.

Okazaki, a sophomore studying English Literature, said she plans to work in the business field once she graduates from her school in Tokyo.

Saya Egawa

Egawa, a freshman in college, was studying outside Japan for the first time but she found her experience to be pretty much what she imagined it would be.

“I’ve never been abroad before but at first, I thought about America and positive people, and now I think the same,” she said.

Egawa said she plans to use her English skills to work in the hospitality industry in her home country, possibly as a hotel concierge or other staffer at a hotel where she would be able to assist and communicate with English-speaking guests.

Anna Kawaraji

Kawaraji also was making her first trip to North America after visiting Thailand, Guam, and Hawaii before with her family. She said she plans on using her improved English skills to work either as a flight attendant or to teach English in Japan.

As for which American food they had during their time at SDSU they wished they had back home in Tokyo, the three students agreed.

“We loved Wingstop with Buffalo sauce for lunch,” they all said.