2023-07-04

Success Story-33605

Summary

Computer Science student from Jamaica. He has studied abroad in Japan for a year as an exchange student, and his experiences inspired him to develop a money management web application for international students as a team leader. He is a rare science talent who is bright and speaks fluent Japanese.

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Profile

Countries & Regions
Jamaica
University
The University of the West Indies
Major
Computer Science
Education
Bachelor
Company
Japanese company creating Digital Contents/Artwork

Long-term study abroad experience in Japan 

I have been watching Japanese anime since I was a child. I wanted to one day be able to watch anime without subtitles, so I began studying at the University of the West Indies, where I enrolled with a minor in Japanese. As I studied hard and improved my Japanese, I became interested not only in pop culture such as anime, manga, and video games but also in all aspects of Japanese culture. I began to think, “I want to live in Japan someday!” I thought it would be better to study abroad once before living in Japan for a long period of time, so I decided to do a 10-month exchange program in Japan. 

I studied at Dokkyo University in Saitama Prefecture from April 2022 to February 2023 as an exchange student. Since Dokkyo University is a liberal arts university, there were no classes related to computer science, my major. Therefore, I mainly took classes related to the Japanese language and culture. 

What helped me a lot in learning Japanese was playing and talking with my Japanese friends. I naturally learned how to speak like a young Japanese person by spending time with them. My Japanese language skills improved to the extent that every time I attended my weekly Japanese class at the university, the teacher would ask me, “Why has your Japanese improved so much?” After returning to Jamaica, I have been able to maintain most of the Japanese proficiency that I gained during my time in Japan, even though I did not have many opportunities to use Japanese. For those who are planning to study abroad, I recommend not only taking classes and studying but also making many friends and creating opportunities to have conversations with them. 

In December 2022, I participated in a Japanese speech contest called “The 4th Xavier Cup” organized by Sophia Association of Sophia University. Among several themes, I chose “presenting Japan to my friends in my home country” and introduced my friends in Japan. Generally speaking, Japanese people are quiet and shy, while Jamaicans are cheerful and generous. However, many of the friends I made in Japan are outgoing, funny, and outspoken. On the other hand, I used to be shy and reserved by nature, but I became more cheerful when I came to Japan and made friends with them. I gave a speech about my encounters and memories with them at the speech contest and was able to get fourth place. 

During my stay in Japan, I was able to learn about various aspects of the country. In fact, I didn’t receive very good treatment when I worked a one-time part-time job for a moving company in Japan, and I also noticed that Japanese people often have a difference between their actual intentions (honne) and their outward behavior (tatemae). While many Japanese people are genuinely kind, there are also many individuals who appear cold, particularly in the cities.  

Nevertheless, my interest in Japan’s advanced technology, traditional culture, and pop culture outweighed any negative experiences I had. I also found that Japanese people’s spirit of service and politeness is truly wonderful.  

Furthermore, compared to Jamaica, Japan has a much better economy and a higher level of security. While many Japanese people may be pessimistic about the stagnant Japanese economy and the serious depreciation of the yen, from a global perspective, prices remain stable in Japan. On the other hand, Jamaica is facing serious inflation, and prices have risen about six times since my childhood. Despite this, salaries have not increased, and many people are living in poverty. Additionally, Jamaica has high rates of crime, including robberies and murders, whereas Japan is safe and allows for nighttime activities. For these reasons, I was still determined to live in Japan, and my mind has not changed.

 

Job Hunting through FAST OFFER 

After studying in Japan for 10 months, I thought, “I definitely want to go back to Japan!” While I was searching for a way to return to Japan, I came across FAST OFFER International on LinkedIn and registered. ASIA to JAPAN staff member who was assigned to me was very kind, and the interview preparation materials provided were extremely helpful. Since I had no problems with my Japanese, the interview process went smoothly. 

However, I felt extremely nervous during the actual interview. Especially during the second and third interviews, I had no idea how they would turn out. The interviewers seemed less responsive, and I lacked confidence in my answers to their questions. I didn’t feel entirely comfortable during the interview, but I persevered and tried my best to respond. As the outcome of the interview wasn’t revealed until the very end, I was overjoyed and surprised when I finally received the job offer.  

The company that offered me the position is a website development engineer. Since I enjoy programming, I believe I will find satisfaction in this job, and I hope to lead a fulfilling life in Japan while working there.  

 

Message 

I hope my experience will be an inspiration to those who want to live/work in Japan, especially those who live in the Caribbean area. There are many people in Latin America who wish to live in Japan, but many give up on it as a dream, thinking that it is something that will never come true. However, there are various routes to live in Japan, such as finding a job or studying at a university or graduate school. Therefore, I believe that if you work hard at what you specialize in or are interested in, you will be able to live in Japan someday. Please work hard and don’t give up! 

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