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English Programs for Internationals

The Three Amigos

Meet Misa Marumo, Jumpei Sugioka, and Kyugo Iwagaki.

All three came to the English Programs for Internationals at the University of South Carolina in early March of 2017. They are students at Kansai University in Osaka, Japan. Jumpei and Kyugo knew each other before they came here. Misa met Jumpei and Kyugo during an orientation meeting when they were getting ready to travel. Originally, these three amigos (“friends” in Spanish) chose Columbia, South Carolina, because they heard that there weren’t many Japanese students here and that the cost of living was reasonable. But now they are so happy that they chose this place because there are so many other good reasons to study here.

Misa thinks that the people in Columbia are very friendly. Kyugo agrees. He likes the fact that this city is not a touristy place. He feels at home here, where there are not many distractions to keep him away from his focus, studying!! : ) Jumpei loves the diversity at EPI. There are people here from all over the world and with various levels of English proficiency. He feels so comfortable with everyone. Some students communicate better than he does, while others communicate less fluently than he does. This makes him feel comfortable with his ability and challenges him to do better, as well.

Misa was scared when she first arrived. Now she feels brave and confident around new people. Kyugo used a lot of gestures when he first arrived. He often felt frustrated because he couldn’t find the words to express himself. Now he has more vocabulary and he can communicate without gestures. Jumpei now has the ability to work his way around a situation that may be difficult to explain. He can communicate even when he does not have the correct vocabulary. He can usually manage his way by using explanations of what he means. He used to translate in his head before he spoke. Now he doesn’t do that anymore.

All three agree that EPI has provided lots of opportunities for them to learn and to make friends from around the world.

Their advice to new students who are planning to come to EPI is to learn about American sports. Americans love to talk about sports.

The Three Amigos also want new students to know that the weather in Columbia is unpredictable. Knowing a little Spanish is helpful, too.

Their final advice is: “Studying is important, BUT the more you PARTY, the more your English skills will improve.”  


Author: Bronia Holmes