Desiree Erchick '17

Major: Japanese and French
Hometown:Alliance, OH

Mount Union provides wonderful opportunities to experience the world around you, whether it's studying abroad, spring break trips or volunteering in different communities.

Brandon Killby '11

My name is Brandon Killby and I am a senior at the University of Mount Union. I have been in Mount Union’s Japanese program since I started as a freshman. Having a background forged in high school of the language, I felt prepared to face the challenges of University’s program. During my freshman year I also enrolled in the Honors in the major program and will complete this part of the program next semester, with my thesis project. Every year in the program seemed like a new adventure to explore and connect with. I have met some of the best people and lifelong friends from all over the world thanks to this program.

Last Semester I was finally able to study abroad in Japan. I went to 関西外国語大学 (Kansai Gaidai) in 大阪(Osaka) Japan. This experience was one of the best and most inspiring chances I have ever had the chance of taking. The college is located on the suburbs of Osaka, a major city in the southern part of the main island. However, just a train ride away was the cities of Osaka, Nara, or Kyoto, at a very cheap price. I really enjoyed my time in the Osaka area, and have made some life-long friends. While in Japan I took my study abroad experience seriously and mBrandon Killbyy hard work was rewarded. I tested into one of the highest Japanese classes there, and study vigorously for the Japanese Proficiency Test. That is to say that’s not all I did. I also did my share of exploring Japan’s beautiful landscapes and national treasures. It turns out my hard work paid off, I passed the Japanese Proficiency test N2 and this year I am trying really hard for the N1 (the highest level of proficiency you can obtain in Japanese Language Study).

Brandon Killby
In my final semesters in the Japanese language program, I am working on my SCE which is a paper on the current issues in the Japanese Educational System and how those events affect their society, compared to the American Education System. I have had so much fun in Mount Union’s program, and the professors in the Foreign Language Department make the experience much more enjoyable. I will truly miss this program as I move on with my own career. Next year I plan on applying to grad school where I will work on my masters in Translation, and maybe a Doctored in Japanese Literature. I will also try and return to Japan and work there as soon as I can. I’m not sure which road I will take in the future, but I am positive that the program here at Mount Union along with all my hard work, diligent effort and experience has prepared me for whatever is next.

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