Location of Study: Hakodate, Japan
Program of Study: Hokkaido International Foundation Japanese Language and Culture Program
Sponsors: Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures and the Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies
A brief personal bio:
My name is Kathleen Lor, and I am a sophomore studying Sociology and Japanese. Having been exposed to Japanese pop culture at a young age, I have always wanted to learn the language and thus began the journey last year. My Japanese professors and peers have reignited my love for the language, and I now seek a career where I can teach English in Japan.
Why this summer language abroad opportunity is important to me:
With the SLA Grant, I will be able to study abroad in Japan through the HIF Program and further my linguistic skills. I have never traveled abroad before (yet alone ride an airplane), so I am very excited to be given this huge opportunity to study in Hakodate for eight weeks. I believe that limitations exist within the standard setting of a classroom. One needs to explore outside of the institution walls in order to come to a greater understanding of the people around them. Immersion is extremely important in building one’s character and one’s relationships. Therefore, I am honored to have received the SLA Grant. It is a great financial assistance to help me accomplish my goals in experiencing the culture in addition to advancing my Japanese. I cannot stress enough how grateful I am because without the grant, I would have not been able to participate in the program.
What I hope to achieve as a result of this summer study abroad experience:
My eight weeks in Japan will be an equivalent of a full year of Japanese at the University of Notre Dame. Upon returning, I will be a 4th year Japanese student and thus have more flexibility in my schedule to fulfill the requirements for my two majors. After graduation, I am considering applying to the J.E.T. Program, and I believe that achieving a high level of Japanese will be beneficial (though the program does not have a language requirement). In addition, I hope to make irreplaceable memories and friendships while studying abroad. It will be a valuable experience since visiting a new country is not always common. The cultural differences and mannerisms will also help me grow more as a person. Exposure to diversity will broaden my understanding of the different peoples of the world.
My specific learning goals for language and intercultural learning this summer:
1. At the end of the summer, I will be able to hold conversations in Japanese, supporting my claims and explaining my opinions. 2. At the end of the summer, I will be able to speak more easily in casual form (since we rarely speak casually in class though for good reason). 3. At the end of the summer, I will be able to read Japanese at a more advanced level and possibly buy a few manga volumes.