A Way of “Giving Back” to Her Home Town, Akita, Japan

Kaoru Suzuki was born and reared in Akita Prefecture, Japan. She sought a bachelor’s degree from Akita University and finished her master’s degree at Akita International University (AIU), where Ms. Suzuki studied Japanese Language Education. Akita International University is in Akita prefecture and is a proud partner institution with The College of William & Mary (W&M) in Williamsburg, VA.

In addition to the natural setting and great foods for which Akita prefecture is known, it also boasts a university in which all classes are offered in English and all students are required to study abroad for a year. In fact, for those 200+ international students who come each year, the Japanese studies program provides not only Japanese language courses, which are taught in Japanese, but also content courses related to Japan that are offered in English.

Ms. Suzuki had wanted to contribute to her hometown, Akita, since she was a kid. While at the University, she realized that many people need to learn Japanese in order to work in Akita. Thus, she began to study Japanese Language Education at AIU to facilitate her teaching skills.

Now, Ms. Suzuki is living with students at the Japanese Language House and working at W&M as a Language House tutor and as a Japanese language teacher. Her main job includes organizing events on a regular bi-weekly schedule, activities such as cooking lessons and cultural functions. For cooking nights, students have made Nikujaga, Oyako-don, and other Japanese foods. Their cultural events have included making Origami and playing the Japanese card game, Karuta.

While she is here as the House tutor, Ms. Suzuki would like to continue introducing more cultural aspects about Japan to students as well as supporting them as they improve their Japanese speaking skills.

4) Suzuki photo No.14) Suzuki photo No.2

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