Choosing a place to study
I grew up in Tokyo which is an incredible city with so much life and culture. When it came to studying abroad, I knew I wanted to develop my experience and I chose Fulton-Montgomery Community College because it was so different. It’s quite rural, a kind of countryside setting, which was so different to what I was used to and it made me want to study there as I’d be learning in a totally new environment. They also offered two year courses, which I was open to as I hadn’t fully developed an idea of the area of art I wanted to go into and therefore I wanted to take an opportunity to develop my English skills and to take the time to make an informed choice about my future career. They have a transfer program within the SUNY (State University of New York) group, so I had a lot more flexibility by going through this route to make choices later on in my studies. In addition to the location and flexibility offered, I was able to improve my English alongside my major, which of course was Art. I took classes in English, Math, History and Spanish to broaden my education.
Even though I love Japan – I grew up there and have family there, so it will always be important to me – I feel so grateful to have travelled to FMCC and to have studied in America. I feel like I gained so much independence and I love my life in the US now…I can just be ‘me’, in a way that I couldn’t before. I feel so comfortable: no one cares what I do, I am free to express myself. Being an artist is hard – I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t – but the rewards far outweigh the challenges, for sure. And that all started by choosing the right college at FMCC.