Welcome to the first post of International Hachinohe! This series will be focusing on people who are involved in Hachinohe’s international scene, whether they are employees and volunteers for Hachinohe’s International Relations Association and more!
First I’d like to introduce my coworker, Ms. Sekikawa, who has been helping me with all of my Japanese and English translation projects since day one. I really don’t know what I would do without her! She has also lived and studied abroad, but I’ll let her tell you all about her experiences.
“Hi! I’m Sekikawa, and I work with Angelica at the City of Hachinohe’s International Relations Group (Hachinohe International Relations Association). Before this, I was in Tokyo working as an advisor at a foundation that provided support for Japanese university students and their study abroad experience.
During my 3rd year of university, I had the opportunity to live in Perth, Australia for one year, where I studied psychology, Asian studies, Mandarin Chinese, and much more.
Through living in a different country and experiencing a different culture, I was able to reexamine and understand even more about the country of Japan, Japanese people, and even various aspects about myself, which broadened my world view. I also learned flexibility, patience, problem solving, taking up new challenges, and many other skills outside of improving my English ability.
School was really difficult at times, but I always made sure to go out on the weekends to explore, learn, and create new experiences. Even until today, Perth is a place that is very dear to my heart!
International cultural exchange is definitely not exclusive to America, English speaking countries, or the English language, but being able to speak even just a little bit of English will enable you to communicate with so many people all over the world. This was one of the exciting realizations that I was able to personally experience during my study abroad.
As a multiethnic country, there are so many cultures that coexist in Australia. Living in this kind of environment means learning how to understand the different English speaking styles of people from all over the world, and this was one amazing way to experience multiple cultures in a single location.
If there is an opportunity, I hope more students from Hachinohe will take the chance to go abroad. However, studying abroad is simply one method of getting involved in international cultural exchange.
In Hachinohe alone, there are currently more than 1,200 foreign residents living in the city. Even if you don’t go overseas, there are still plenty of chances to experience other cultures. If you are interested, I encourage you to participate in the various events and volunteer activities that are organized by the International Relations Group and Hachinohe International Relations Association!”