Combined Bachelor of Arts in East Asian Language Studies (concentration in Japanese) and International Relations
Written by Sherry Yuan in October 2018.
Konnichi wa! Greeting from Japan. Currently, I am working at the Ibaraki Prefectural Government – Olympic and Paralympic Division, in Mito City, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan.
My experience at the Japanese Program has given me a remarkable international perspective on my future and even my life. I did not choose Japanese as major in the first place, but soon after, I found that Japanese is my real “soul mate”. Japanese Program provides a lot of resources and opportunities for students to gain practical experience for their future careers. I started to become a Teaching Assistant at school in 2016 and a Peer Tutor in 2017. In 2017, I was successfully selected as a Student Representative for Japanese Program, and one year later, became a Student Group Leader. With the help of Dr. X. Jie Yang, I started to volunteer at the Consulate General of Japan in Calgary since 2015. All these experiences help to build my career today and allowed me to promote Japanese studies to junior schoolmates.
While as a student, I heard this fantastic opportunity from my Japanese instructors, the “JET Programme” (Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme), which brings college graduates to work in local governments or boards of education in Japan. I applied for the JET Programme in November 2017 and successfully became a JET CIR (Coordinators for International Relations) after graduated this year. Although the range of job duties for CIR is very broad and may vary on your placement, in my case, my duties include arranging pre-game training camps for various countries, helping to organize the Tokyo Olympic volunteer recruitment and Olympic torch rely, tutoring English to my Japanese colleagues, translating and interpreting between Japanese and English in various diplomatic occasions, and presenting Canadian culture to local Japanese residents etc.. I am very excited to see Tokyo Olympic coming in 2020, and as a Canadian CIR, I am also very proud to be a part of planning group for this greatest grand international sports event in the world.
I do enjoy my work life in Japan now, as well as the food, weather, landscape, people, and ambiance. I usually spent my weekends on my interests and travelling to balance between work and life. My colleagues treated me gently, and I can feel that my job is not just about money, but also meaningful and significant. I deeply appreciated all of my wonderful Japanese instructors at school. They built my success today.
Back talking to my experience at school, after a year studying Japanese, in 2013 I started to participate in the Alberta District Japanese Speech Contest and successfully won the 3rd place in the Beginning Category. In 2017, I returned to the contest and awarded 3rd prize in the Open Category at the National Japanese Speech Contest as the representative from Alberta.