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My name is Mariko Kobata, and I am a Japanese. My hometown is Nagano, Japan. I was born and grew up in the southern part of Nagano, Iida City, and after graduating high school, I moved to the northern part of Nagano, Nagano City. Nagano Prefecture is second largest prefecture in Japan, so I have to ride on the bus for three hours from Iida City to Nagano City. And now, I live in Salt Lake City in Utah.


I have parents and a younger sister. We like nature, and there are many mountains around my house, so we often go out to the mountain. We have a large rice field and field, so we work there on weekends. And we also like music, especially classic music. My father began to learn the violin two years ago, and my sister and I play the piano. My sister also began to learn the flute from last spring. In my house, I can hear music everytime, even though I don't want to hear it.


Now I'm senior at Shinshu University. My major is education, and I'm studying teaching methods of elementary education and junior high school social studies education. Now, I'm studying at the University of Utah as an exchange student, and I will stay here until next May.

There are two reasons why I came to here. First, as a future teacher, I'd expand my perspective. When I become a teacher, I will place emphasis on cross-cultural understanding in education. Globalization is advancing quickly, and teachers will have to take opportunities to make the students aware of the many different value systems of the world, and particularly bring attention to the importance of Japanese culture. For example, I'll invite foreign people to my geography class and ask them to speak about their culture and society to students. For this purpose, a broad perspective and linguistic skills are required. I want to acquire these things while in Utah.

Secondly, I want to submit a satisfactory graduation thesis. My major is social studies in education, and the theme of my graduation thesis is the comparison between Japanese and American social studies teaching styles. Particularly, I will draw attention to the events in the post-war period. During this period, people have experienced many social problems including environmental questions, immigration issues, awareness of losing their own culture, war responsibilities, power politics, land mines, and the conflict between developed and developing nations. These are international common problems. I'll compare the teaching styles of the USA and Japan regarding these problems with each social studies text book and class, and I'll consider how best to teach social studies.

Future Goals

After going back to Japan, I will take an exam to become teacher. I hope I'll be able to become teacher because I like children and teaching. Also I want to establish a happy family like my friendship family in here. I have just spent few days with them, but while I stay with them, I can experience a happy feeling. For establishing this dream, charity and compassion are important, but I sometimes still behave childishly. I want to make myself more mature.


I like dancing and watching a drama. When I was a university freshman, I learned flamenco, and now, I'm learning a ballroom dance. I'm learning next three steps: foxtrot, swing, and tango. I also like to watch a drama. One of my favorite theatrical company is Wasatch Theatre Company. If you live in Salt Lake City, I recommend you to watch this company's play.

My mail address is kobata_mariko@hotmail.com.

Thank you for "spain-japan.com".

First created : November 1, 2001
Last updated : December 4, 2001