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STAFF INTERVIEW: Kyoko Kurokawa
Euan: So, where are you from originally?
Kyoko: Okazaki - I was born and raised in Okazaki.
E: As Housing Coordinator, what do you have to do?
K: I organize the scheduling of all the rooms, allocating them to students and trying to give everyone their first choice of accommodation - unfortunately that isn't always possible, especially for people that apply at the last minute. Other than the management of the Yamasa housing, I also arrange the homestays.
E: What is the hardest thing about your job?
K: Well, probably trying to fit everyone into the rooms and not leave anyone out or have rooms sitting empty. With courses starting every two weeks, it is really hard to organize - especially like now, when we are really busy and all the rooms are full. The homestays are very hard to set up too - in Japan, people don't have very big houses, so it is kind of rare that someone has a room to spare for a guest.
E: What is the best thing about the job?
K: I guess meeting lots of people - I get to speak to lots of people from all over the world and also Japanese in Okazaki through the homestay program.
E: What about languages?
K: I speak English, Japanese of course, and a few words of Chinese - but I've forgotten most of the Chinese.
E: When did you study Chinese?
K: I studied it at University in the States - we had to do one foreign language, so I chose Chinese for two years. I've forgotten most of it now.
E: Where in the US were you studying? What were you doing there?
K: I was in Washington State for four and a half years. I was interested in TV and making TV programs, so I majored in Broadcasting.
E: What was your impression of living and studying in the US?
K: At first, I was really worried - it was really scary going there. But in fact, it was fine - Washington is a really comfortable place, really easy to live in - I was in the countryside in a town about the same size as Okazaki, so it was really safe and pleasant.
E: So, do you have any comments from your experience?
K: Well, I really enjoyed travelling and learning other languages - it was hard, but I think it's worth it - it's really rewarding when you can finally communicate with people in their own language.
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