How much do you want it?

I had an opportunity to apply for a one-week program in Japan organized by my high school, but I allowed fear to get in the way of me going for it. Five years later, as a college junior, I came across a summer study abroad opportunity in Japan. I was aware of other opportunities, butContinue reading “How much do you want it?”

Living abroad: between gratitude and overwhelm

I’m coming up on 2 years since I moved to Japan (March 2019, to be exact). The vibrant photos and humorous anecdotes on your timeline make living abroad look exciting, and it certainly is. However, it’s not all adventure. It’s also monotony, frustration, and confusion. Living in Japan (or more broadly, living abroad) often findsContinue reading “Living abroad: between gratitude and overwhelm”

So you actually want to teach English: building ELT experience

A student asked me how I came to make teaching my career choice. Many people teach English in Japan, but not all of them necessarily want to, at least for very long. It’s certainly a low barrier to entry into Japan, as the JET Program and many language schools don’t require teaching experience. Participants getContinue reading “So you actually want to teach English: building ELT experience”

If they want to speak to me in English, it’s fine

I stopped by a Lawson’s in Omotesando for a few items before I took the train home. The cashier welcomed me to his register with a “Good morning”, which caught me off guard, as my experience is cashiers have often consistently spoken in Japanese regardless of who was in front of them. I sensed thisContinue reading “If they want to speak to me in English, it’s fine”

What my first tea ceremony taught me about being bold

“What did you do when you were learning a foreign language?”, one of my students asked me. One of my recommendations was to have experiences in the language you are learning: you get to interact with the language in an authentic way, plus it makes for a great memory. When I studied Japanese in highContinue reading “What my first tea ceremony taught me about being bold”

My choice to major in Japanese Studies

“What’s your major?” It took me a long time to be able to comfortably answer this question. At the beginning of my undergrad studies, I arrived with interests in interpretation, Japanese, writing, world history, and diplomacy, and a recommendation to minor in Economics. International Relations was not offered as a major, so I chose toContinue reading “My choice to major in Japanese Studies”