When Shino from Japan was deciding where to spend her senior year in the United States, she knew she wanted to be near Miami. Her parents wanted to be in a private school. Divine Savior Academy in Doral, Florida, was the perfect combination.
Shino benefited from the school’s excellent academics, small class sizes, new buildings, and variety of AP classes while learning American culture and living with a host family nearby. Immersing herself in American culture, Shino fulfilled a dream “of going to homecoming since it doesn’t exist in Japan and it was so much fun” and learned local customs.
“What surprised me the most is the way to greet. Since Miami has Hispanic-influenced culture, they kiss on cheek when they greet. In Japan, people tend to keep a certain distance especially with new people so it was new to me.” Of all her experiences so far, Shino says the “basketball team made me have new friends from different grades so that was my favorite part.”
After she graduates this year Shino will return home to Japan and study medicine in university. She believes “English is definitely a big part I gained from this experience but also being in new environment without anyone you know made me independent and I believe this experience will help me in the future a lot.” Her advice for future CIEE students? “Be open minded and learn new cultures and meet new people as much as you can.”