College of Arts and Sciences/International Volunteer (Ghana)/2013/Firstly, I wanted to learn what is official volunteer / international cooperation in order to consider about my future deeply.
What made you decide to study abroad or participate in the program?
Firstly, I wanted to learn what is official volunteer / international cooperation in order to consider about my future deeply. Secondly, visiting Africa, which will be completely different from where I grew up and is difficult to go personally, was so attractive to me.
Tell us about the best experience you had during the program.
The person in charge (who has been volunteering there before we visited) left everything to us. In this program, I taught Japanese language lessons to local elementary / junior high school students, and I had to plan them by myself for two weeks. It was tough because I had no experience teaching, but, because of this, I gained moe sense of achievement when I finished the program.
Tell us about the hardest part of your experience abroad.
When I taught a class of first year students, that class got out of hand. We did Origami (a traditional culture of Japan where you fold paper in many forms) in that class, but I could not keep their concentration and they got too excited. Finally the person in charge helped us and I realized how incompetent I was.
How do you want to make use of your experience overseas?
I leaned that I can influence, to some degree, to local children while I have a lot of things to study myself. My first job is not related to international volunteers directly, but I want to be involved with this field a few decades later. So based on this program, I try to keep thinking of what I should learn to contribute to international development more.
If you give one piece of advice to students looking into educational opportunities abroad, what would it be?
Once your program begins, it ends very quickly. So please try everything you can. It needs some courage to challenge something in unfamiliar places, but you can learn more things at last if you do so.