Having lived in both Korea and the USA for a long time, I’m used to meeting people who come from various backgrounds. It’s my first time living by myself in Japan, and having stayed here for a little over two years, I`ve felt that advertising and exposing yourself to many experiences is truly important.
When I first came to Japan, everything was difficult because expressions were limited to 2-3 words in a sentence, and problems were solved mainly with body language.
If I came as a tourist, it would totally not have been a problem, but considering that I would have to live here for 4 years I knew it would be very difficult to live with thatlevel of Japanese.
However, I believed in myself that I could learn another language fluently, and I wanted to go to college in another country besides Korea and America since I already experienced the education system there.
Then, at quite an unexpected moment, the International Community Center appeared as a key for solving my difficulties in communication matters.
I had wanted to meet Japanese people to increase my speaking skills, but as a foreigner who cannot speak any Japanese, I guess it was hard for only-Japanese speaking people to be able to communicate with me too.
Also there are Japanese people who keep their distance from confronting foreigners, usually because of the language barrier.
However, Japanese people who come to the ICC are seeking to learn other languages and are not uncomfortable with having to face foreigners in everyday situations. So ICC was a great chance for me to have confidence in speaking Japanese.
They would wait for me, and were keen on what I was trying to express as my opinion.
The ICC provides a great amount of programs that allow foreigners to be exposed to a lot of Japanese, and what I would suggest is, learn grammar in Japanese classes at CJL, and apply that when you come to the ICC to talk with Japanese people. You will be less bored in class, getting to think that you will able to use what you have learned, and actually feel that confidence you never thought would appear regarding Japanese.
Try your best to experience whatever is out there, and that experience will then help you later on and make you a greater person than before.
JH (Student Staff Leader)