The half of the participants were from Japan and other half were from other Asian countries. So, the only common language was English and we were told to use only English during the program. It made sense and it was frustrating too. Not be able to say what you want to say is VERY frustrating. Anyways, we talked only in English. That was a part of the training.
Before moving to Hawaii, I had been immersing myself with English daily basis, mainly by listening to audio programs. They were very helpful in two ways. One was that I could immerse myself whenever and wherever I was. Thanks to ipod! The other was that I could shut out unnecessary information from environment outside to some extent. Most information out there can be just distractions. I just needed to focus on my journey so to speak without being distracted by environment.
Not only taking the business course in Hawaii, I challenged myself by taking daily Yoga class too. Yoga was something I had been doing for five years at this point and I wanted to experience more advanced practice. Thanks for the Internet, I found a great Yoga studio in Honolulu area.
To participate the yoga classes, I needed a car. Instead of renting a car, I decided to buy a car in Hawaii for my four months stay. It was much easier to rent a car but I wanted to do something challenging, something I had never done before. I found something called Craigslist, where people could buy and sell such like a second-hand car. I contacted a guy who were selling Toyota Corolla for $2500 on the list and we made a deal. Now I was the owner of the car.
My daily life was like this: I would get up at 5:00 everyday except Saturday and make my lunch box, then drive to the Yoga studio located in Honolulu. Then after the Yoga session, I would drive back to Hawaii Kai, where the business school was located. I also did my business there.
End of the four months, I sold my car for $1700 by using Craigslist again. It was fun to do this kind of thing because it was challenging. Everything I did for this four months was valuable for me.
How much was my English improved? It got much better for sure and I was happy. But I was very much frustrated at the same time. Because my goal was so high that my English progress looked so slow.