August 29, 2013
From: El Paso, Texas
Exploring: East Asian studies and Japanese
Homing instinct: I’ve always felt a connection with Japan. My childhood interests in Japanese animation and video games made me want to know more about the culture and language. Lewis & Clark’s Japanese and Overseas Study Programs made it the natural choice.
Feeling at home: I’ll always remember the day when I worked up the courage to introduce myself to my hall mates in Akin—the multicultural residence hall—in Japanese. Everyone understood me. It was so nice to meet people who shared my interests. Joining the Japanese Club and Shinobi, a traditional Japanese dancing club, really helped me find my place at Lewis & Clark.
Welcome home: My year studying abroad in Japan was the best experience of my life. It was honestly like coming home. I’d spent so long studying the culture and language from the outside that when I got there, it was like, aah, just a big sigh of relief. I felt like I was where I belonged.
Homeward bound: I got my first real job in Japan, teaching English to preschoolers. After graduation, I’m returning to teach in Tokyo. Eventually I hope to go to graduate school in Japan and to work in translation, advertising, or public relations. The last four years have definitely solidified my desire to live there, to work there, and to continue what I’m doing.