Graduation Speech Essay

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Good evening everyone. My name is Toyota Moko, and I am an international student from Japan. As the first-ever international student speaker on commencement, I am very honored to be here tonight to be given this opportunity to speak on behalf of the graduating class of the 2003.

Born and grew up in Tokyo where speaking English was absolutely absent in my eighteen years of life, one day the life-changing experience came to me. When I was fifteen-years-old, the summer of 1998, I came to America for the very first time for the home stay program through my high school. The three weeks I spent in Snohomish have brought me a wonderful encounter with my American family. John, Margo and Jennifer Turner have truly become my second family away
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I still recall the very first class I took. I was so scared and nervous that I talked to the teacher to drop the class. However, I did not give up and tried to keep up with my work. In the end, it paid off and I received an A from the class. This has taught me a great lesson that your effort will not betray you.

Since then for the last two years, I have made every possible effort to pursue my education so as not to take for granted this precious experience. At first, I struggled with the new educational system that demands you to think and have your own opinion. Therefore, I would always ask questions until I fully understood. I have been very fortunate to have all the great teachers who enthusiastically dedicated their time with my questions. That has brought me a successful academic achievement. Each instructor has inspired me with new perspectives and that enriched the way I see the world.

As a way to give back to others, I gladly took notes for those who need help through the center for disability service. Volunteering at the Bethany nursing home for a Japanese elder woman by being a conversational partner was especially a joyful experience for this reminded me of my late grandmother who would be the same age.

Being a foreign student has shown me how hard it is to adjust to another culture, but this experience has in return inspired me to have my dream as being a bridge between different

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