Stefanie Dayton '11
Being a part of the program with the Japanese Center for Michigan Universities in Hikone has quite a few benefits. Not only are textbooks, extra courses, homestay or on campus housing all included in the price of the tuition, but the students attending the program in Hikone are also given the opportunity to pick up an internship. The options are limited based on the level of the Japanese class that you are taking, but even with this limitation there are a variety of internships available. For those looking to experience teaching in Japan there are several schools with varying age-groups in need of help. I, on the hand, decided on an internship at city hall, an opportunity that is typically reserved for someone who has placed in level 3 for Japanese language courses.
The internship required going to city hall each Monday for three hours, and working side by side with one of the women that worked as translators. The first project I worked on was to translate the pamphlet for the local historic castle. Much of it had been put into broken English before I began my internship, but it was a project that took another three weeks to complete. The job started off as correcting the English translations that had already been completed, but as time rolled on, it turned into translating the original documents rather than editing. By the end of my stay in Japan we had translated not only the pamphlet for the castle, but also several packets concerning flu shots as well as information on H1N1 and aid for the disabled.
This was my second internship while studying abroad and it helped to make the experience into more than just a fun opportunity. It raised the bar for the level of learning during my stay. I was also able to experience what the everyday working society in Japan is like. I would recommend doing an internship anywhere you have the ability to do so. It’s a wonderful opportunity and who knows what kinds of doors it could open for your future.