Hear from our past participants about their experiences learning Japanese and interning here in Okinawa, Japan!
Christine Lay (Clay)
U.S.A (Harvard '97)
"My month studying Japanese in Okinawa through [English Teachers in Okinawa] was a memorable experience. I made a lot of great friends and was able to enjoy almost everything Okinawa has to offer - food, culture, history, beautiful scenery - all while improving my Japanese language skills."
U.S.A. (Auburn '07)
"The study abroad program was the perfect opportunity for me to further my academic career and the experience was invaluable. It gave me the opportunity to explore my heritage, meet family members for the first time, and make lifelong friends. The classes are challenging but rewarding, the teachers are incredibly supportive, and Okinawa itself was the most beautiful place to study. To learn the Japanese language and to experience all that Okinawa has to offer not only led to my academic advancement but was also a truly meaningful journey."
Australia (ANU '08)
"In May 2008 I undertook a two week Okinawa Study and Internship Program. For a brief time I was able to experience the wonderful, relaxed and multicultural atmosphere of Japan's southern tropical islands. I was grateful for the opportunity to build upon my reading, writing and speaking skills, while also actively contributing to and participating in Okinawan society through the internship. From being asked if everyone in Australia had blue eyes to making my very own Ryukyu glass cup, my time participating in the Okinawa Study and Internship Program was a very enjoyable one."
Saudi Arabia (King Saud '08)
"The program did cover all it promised and more; in terms of the Japanese language, the school with which they collaborated with, was more than adequate, friendly, professional with the aim of making the student live in Japanese. Sightseeing part was more than interesting, for got the chance to witness Okinawa's version of the Japanese culture, the island had plenty to offer and the program provided the means to do so, Mike Holland was as friendly as he was kind, enjoyed his company while he took me everywhere in addition to taking me along introducing me to various experiences. All in all I truly enjoyed my one month in Okinawa, recommend it for all."
U.S.A. (Leeward CC '08)
"I think this program is amazing!!! While interning at the hotels in Okinawa, I felt I had learnt about the Okinawan culture as well as learning Japanese more that I could ever in a classroom environment. I got the opportunity to work with Japanese who spoke no english. It was a daily challenge to work in a Japanese working environment with limited amount of english being used. It something which I am glad I had experience because I learned more in the four weeks than I did in 4 years. Met friends in Okinawa who I know will be my life time friends. If you want have a life changing experience and meet some of nicest people in the world, I will say this program will be the best option for you!"
U.S.A. (UMASS '08)
"Why did I go to Okinawa? Well, where else can you see child sumo wrestlers, get a picture with a Pokemon car, eat a giant purple sweet potato, practice Japanese and still have time to enjoy the scenery and make friends? The children make practicing your Japanese stress-free and enjoyable as well as put a lot of humor in your day. I had the opportunity to interact with various types of people at the school; on a volley-ball team and within my Japanese classes. My advice to future students is bring sun block and order Taco Rice in large quantities."
Norway (NSE '06)
"I did a four week long Japanese language program in August 2008. The program covered all my expectations, and much much more. In Okinawa you can experience a part of Japan that is totally different from the mainland. It is a relaxed environment with really nice people. The food is delicious, the climate is perfect and there are lot of things to see. Mike Holland is a great guide, and showed us the best things Okinawa had to offer. After the language program I traveled some of the other islands in the area. I had great time meeting new friends and practice my Japanese with locals. I highly recommend this program to everyone! You will never regret going to Okinawa!"
U.S.A. (W&M Virginia'09)
"I did an internship at a Japanese elementary school for about one month. My time contained some of the most enriching experiences of my life. Everything, from the internship to the Japanese Language classes, was even more rewarding than I had expected. The Japanese language classes I attended were also incredibly interesting. They provided me with a good deal of Japanese grammar and vocabulary, and reinforced these through conversations with other students, as well as standard worksheets. All of the staff did their best to make sure ever student understood the concepts they were being taught, and were not disinclined to tell related stories about living in Okinawa, as well as to rest from lecture to talk about the differences in culture between Japan and the other students home countries."
Brazil (Boston University'08)
"I took part in the internship and language program in Okinawa, Japan. I have to say I had an amazing time, met the friendliest people, and made memories that I will treasure forever. At first I had been looking for an internship abroad program in Japan, and through some research I was able to contact Mr. Holland, he was very helpful and friendly, and helped me along the way to help me get my VISA and make the study abroad possible. My first impression of Okinawa was great. Mr. Holland showed me around Okinawa's breathtaking scenery, monuments and Ryukyu castles, along with the other students who were already there. The other students at the program were very friendly and polite, and I must say we had great laughs during the summer."
U.S.A (CSU Monterey Bay '09)
"I came to Okinawa to get a foot hold on my Japanese and ended up getting so much more. I maintained a busy schedule of interning at a local elementary school and intensive Japanese classes, and then followed it by packing as many cultural events and as much sightseeing as I could possible handle. I had a large interest in business and entrepreneurship, and my program coordinator Mike Holland made sure to introduce me to several successful businessmen and government officials, I even got to spend time with the local professional basketball team. Throughout my entire four week program I constantly felt like a VIP in Okinawa. In short, it was amazing!"
U.S.A. (Texas A&M '10)
"I was a full-time intern from June 30th to Aug 5th, 2009. I did two weeks at Nakanishi Elementary School in Urasoe city as an assistant English teacher. That was a very rewarding and interesting two weeks. I basically interned at the school a few weeks before the end of summer vacation, but the transition was easy and the faculty were very welcoming. Also, the kids were very interested in me and what culture and things I brought from America. Besides the internship part of the program, I got to do many interesting things such as sightseeing and various events like AmericaFest at Kadena Air Force Base for the 4th of July. I definitely recommend this program not only because of the low cost, but also for the experiences of a lifetime."