Lucy: Working Holiday in Japan

We continue our Student Testimonial series with Lucy who came to Japan on a working holiday visa to learn the language and travel around the country.

Posted by on July 11, 2017 – Student Testimonials

On year ago, Lucy decided to come to Japan on a working holiday visa.

“I had finished University and for many reasons, I was really eager to come to Japan and and try a new experience. It was a dream I had held for a while and so I just packed my bags and came!”

Lucy found about Coto Academy through our website and after a brief Skype call she decided to join our school. At the time, she knew only very basic Japanese but she was highly motivated to learn more.

“I had a couple of evening lessons in London, but that’s all. So Coto was my actual first experience seriously studying Japanese and I loved it! I did a one-month Intensive Course and joined the part-time course afterward and then finally switched to private lessons. Perhaps, out of all, I prefer the private lessons because they’re very tailored and you can study what you really want to work on.”

“I love languages. I did an English literature degree and I’ve taught Latin. Part of the reason I wanted to come here was to learn the language and get my head around the culture. In particular, I like the visual etymology a lot, so I enjoy studying kanji. My speaking isn’t so good, but I know kanji pretty well.”

As soon as she arrived in Japan, Lucy traveled around the country. Doing so, she experienced what many foreigners feel as they get out of Tokyo.

“I’ve been to Kyoto, Hiroshima… But I was also interested in going to the countryside. I wanted to discover everything. I went to only one hike and got lost. It’s kind of scary. In Tokyo, you’re fine even if you don’t speak Japanese but as soon you get out of the city, it can be really difficult.”

Lucy had studied Japanese for several months when one of her friends came to Japan around October and they planned to visit a small town in the region of Fukushima.

“We really had a lovely trip going up to Fukushima and were able to get completely around, to find a way to for everything. I was able to ask people around and that was unbelievably satisfying! I definitely don’t think I would have been able to make that trip a year ago. I really liked that. It’s such a lovely way to discover Japan.”

Lucy is also very happy to have been able to meet Japanese people and to make friends in Japan.

“Japanese people are very patient when you’re learning. They’ll wait for you and help you if you can’t find the right word. So even if my Japanese is basic, I’m actually able to have friends who are Japanese even if they can’t speak English.”

During her year in Japan, she kept busy by working full-time as a freelancer.

“I had a really good experience. Moreover, I got to be very flexible with my Japanese classes. I worked with westerners and Japanese, half and half, teaching mix of languages and literature.”

Now that she’s headed back to London, she’s hoping to get on an international management masters with a focus in Japan.

“We’ll see, but I’ll certainly continue my Japanese study and I’ve found a teacher in London. I’d like to take one of the JLPT. My reading’s pretty good but… I don’t know yet!”

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