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brianna erler headshot
brianna erler headshot

Brianna Erler '22

Japanese major

Exploring a whole new country, living with a host family, and getting to experience Japanese culture and everyday life was an invaluable experience

Education

B.A. in Japanese

Hometown

Stow, Ohio

Why Mount Union?

I first heard about Mount from Furuhata-Sensei. She would visit my Japanese class every year in high school, and she would promote Mount Union's Japanese program, study abroad program, and the school as a whole. Since I was in third grade, I knew that I wanted to be a teacher and because I fell in love with Japanese in high school, I decided to combine both of my passions into my future career. Because Mount Union has excellent Japanese, Education, and Study Abroad programs, I chose to attend Mount. I also received the Trustee Scholarship over all four years.

A Supportive Environment

I like how small and beautiful the campus is, but more importantly, it is my professors that make Mount Union dear to my heart. The professors here at Mount actually care about you as an individual and will not hesitate to help you with anything at any time. Without the support and care from my professors, I would not be where I am today.

Choose a Place You Can Call Home

My advice to current high schoolers would be to select a school that speaks to you and makes you feel at home. When looking at schools, the one you should choose should be the one that you have no doubts about. It is kind of like a marriage. If you are standing up at the altar during your exchanging of vows and have any lingering doubts, no matter how small, in the back of your mind about the person you are about to commit your life to being the one, then it is better to call it off and run than commit to a life with a person you may not even be sure is the one for you. It is the same when choosing a college. You should have no doubts about the college you choose to attend is the right one for you to call home. If you do, then it probably is not the right one for you and you should choose to explore other options.

Why Japanese?

I chose Japanese as my major because I absolutely love everything about the Japanese language and culture. It opens so many doors for you in really any career field you choose. In my case, I knew I wanted to be a teacher, but it took me a while to figure out the exact area of study I wanted to teach. Because my high school offered a Japanese program throughout four years, I decided to take it because why not. I fell in love with Japanese almost immediately, and I have never looked back. Therefore, I want to share the opportunity I was given to my future students, and open the doors for them that were opened for me. That is why I chose to further my study of Japanese and make it my major at Mount Union.

Experiential Opportunities

The education program has provided me with an exponential amount of opportunities to be hands-on in the field. Every year, I have been out in local schools observing and teaching lessons in my area of licensure, and I was even given the opportunity to teach a few classes within the Japanese 201 course at Mount Union. I also studied abroad in spring 2020, and it was this experience that is, without a doubt, my favorite. Exploring a whole new country, living with a host family, and getting to experience Japanese culture and everyday life was an invaluable experience. Not only that, but it gave me the chance to interact with Japanese people daily and use the language to better myself. I believe that even if you are not studying a foreign language, everyone should take the opportunity to study abroad because of the many skills and life lessons you learn from the experience. Overall, I believe my experience prepared me for life on my own and gave me a better understanding of who I am as a person.

Using the Integrative Core to Prepare You for the Future

The integrative core allows you to explore other fields of study that are still applicable to your main focus (your major/minor). And, from each course you take, you learn different life skills that are paramount when entering the workforce such as interpersonal communication, public speaking, presentational writing, proposal writing, etc. Each of these skills helps you to become a more well-rounded person that is prepared to take on the world beyond Mount Union.

Future Goals or Dreams

My ultimate dream is to become a foreign language teacher either here in the United States or overseas in Japan. Mount has provided me with ample opportunities to improve my teaching skills by placing me out in the field at local schools every semester. These experiences have been invaluable to my growth as a teacher. Also, the Japanese program here at Mount gave me the tools and knowledge to learn about a foreign language along with its people and culture. Lastly, because of Mount's study abroad program, I have experiences of my own that taught me so many life lessons about the world, Japanese life and culture, and myself. With all of the tools and personal experiences Mount has given me, I am now more prepared to share the knowledge I acquired at Mount with my future students, wherever I may be.