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 text books, 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 Japanese that you take, but even with this limitation there is a variety of internships available. For those looking to experience teaching in Japan there is an array of schools varying in ages in need of help. I, on the hand, decided to volunteer for the internship at city hall, an internship normally reserved for someone placing in level 3.
The internship required going to city hall each Monday for three hours a week and working side by side with one of the ladies that worked as a translator. Our first project was to translate the pamphlet for the local historic castle. Much of it had been put into broken English the day I began working but it was a project that took around three weeks in and out of the office. The job started off as correcting English, but as time rolled on it turned into translating the original documents the more I worked there. By the end of my stay in Japan we had translated not only the pamphlet for the castle, but several packets concerning flu shots, as well as information on H1N1, and aid for the disabled.
This had been my second internship while studying abroad and it helped to make the experience into more than just a wonderful opportunity. It raised the bar for the level of learning during my stay. I was also able to experience what it’s like in everyday working society in Japan. I would recommend doing an internship anywhere you have the ability to do so, it’s a wonderful opportunity and who knows what sort of doors it could open for the future.