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STUDENT INTERVIEW: Haruko Awakon (Acceleration)

Haruko Awakon
Haruko Awakon

Haruko has been studying in the Acceleration since October 2001.

Jon: You came to Okazaki 3 months ago, where were you before that?
Haruko: I was living with my husband in Nagano.
J: Where you studying Japanese there?
H: No, my husband and I were working for a company that produced computer parts and LCD screens.

J: Did you come over to Japan with your husband or did you meet him here?
H: I came from Colombia with my husband.
J: And how long have you both been in Japan?
H: Around 2 years now.

J: Why did you come to Japan originally?
H: Because I love everything to do with Japan!
J: For example?
H: The culture, it's so much different from Colombia. Also my grandfather is Japanese - he was born in Okinawa.

J: Did you find anything difficult when you first came to Japan? Did you know much Japanese back then?
H: Yes, it was a bit difficult at first. Before I came to Japan I didn't know anything about the country or the language. But the first town we lived in had a friendly, close community, and we were able to buy Spanish language newspapers. There was even a Peruvian store nearby. There were many second-generation Japanese living there
J: Were there many other Colombian people apart from you and your husband?
H: No, none at all! I've been here for 2 years and I still haven't met any other Colombians, although I have friends studying at Universities in Japan.

J: What made you decide to study Japanese?
H: To make life a little easier. When I go to the supermarket or the post office I want to understand what the people are saying and be able to speak to them.

J: So why did you choose Yamasa?
H: Like many people, I searched the internet and found Yamasa. I thought Okazaki would be a good place to live because the living costs are lower compared to larger cities in Japan. Also, the Acceleration program was the most intensive course option I found of any of the schools I looked at.

J: So, how is the course going?
H: Good, but sooooo fast!
J: Are you getting a lot of homework assignments?
H: Most days, yes, and we have to learn many words, but I'm enjoying it.

J: When are you planning to study until?.
H: Until October 2002, or maybe December. I haven't decided yet.

J: And finally, your future plans?.
H: When I become good at Japanese, I want to learn English. (Editor's note: this transcript is translated from Japanese)
J: Really?!
H: Yes, but I think it's going to take a while to become fluent in Japanese so..........


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