Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Studying and Working in Japan - An interview with: Katya

An interview with: Katya

Please tell us a little about yourself and how you got involved with Asahi Nihongo.I am from Hannover in the northern part of Germany. There I spent number of years working as a social worker and volunteering in the community. I am also a very creative person who enjoys music and art, and who carries this interest into my life here in Japan. I arrived in Fukuoka in February of this year on a one-year working-holiday visa.

What kind of internship or job do you have here in Fukuoka?
For the past couple of months I have been working part-time at a local Austrian restaurant and I am also in training to become an Assistant German Language teacher at Ritter School.

What are you working on at the moment?
At the restaurant, I spend much of my time explaining the different kinds of German foods and beers to our many Japanese customers.

In addition, although I am still in training to become a German teacher at Ritter School, I have started teaching German to Japanese students online through Skype. I actually have experience teaching German as a volunteer to immigrants in Germany for one year before I came to Japan. Although the teaching method and student needs are different here in Japan, this experience has helped give me a strong interest in teaching my native language.

What are the most rewarding and challenging aspects of working in Japan?
I would say one of the most challenging aspects I have encountered so far is getting into and adjusting to the Japanese business system, as well as understanding the Japanese perspective on work and careers. Of course, using and developing one’s language skills is also a daily challenge, which is why I intend to resume taking classes as soon as possible.

Did you take classes at Asahi Nihongo before starting the job/internship? Are you
still taking classes?

Yes, I took four weeks of the intensive course. I am not taking classes at the moment, but I intend to do so in the future.

Do you have any advice for someone interested in studying and finding a job/
internship in Japan?

Most importantly be patient with yourself and don’t give up, either on learning the language or finding the right job. When you are in Japan be sure to meet as many people as possible. Make and use these types of connections, like friends, whenever possible because that is how opportunities are made or found here in Japan. This is exactly how I managed to learn about and get both of the jobs I have now.

My other main piece of advice is to expect the unexpected and be flexible because you never know what opportunities may come your way as a foreigner in this city. This can be a challenge sometimes as you plan for the future, but it’s also exciting.

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