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STUDENT INTERVIEW: Jacques Trudeau (SILAC / Semi-Private)

Jacques Trudeau
Jacques Trudeau

Jacques, from Canada, is studying the semi-private lessons in Aoi Hall. He is studying with Jessica (who I interviewed in the last newsletter). We went to Osaka together last week and became good friends. And before he knew it, he found himself in the newsletter too....

Huang: Hello, Jacques, Would you like to briefly introduce yourself to us?
Jacques: I have three children, two boys and one girl. I live in Montreal and my mother tongue is French although I can also speak fluently in English, Italian and German.

H: Were you working before coming here?
J: Yes, I had worked at Kodak, then six yearsfteaching experience in McGill University, and now I work as a marketing consultant.
H: And why are you learning Japanese?
J: Basically, I like the cultural things. Therefore, I think learning the language of Japan is a quicker way of furthering my understanding of the culture. In Canada, everyone knows Japan. However the knowledge tends to stop at Tokyo or areas where more English is spoken, and not so many people visit the rest of Japan, which is one of the motivations for me to study Japanese.

H: How do you find studying at Yamasa?
J: It's fine. I quite enjoy the ife here. Teachers are very helpful and the Internet facilities are excellent for me.

H: You began with the SILAC program. Why did you transfer into Semi-private study with Jessica?
J: I am planning to take a long-term trip, and when I'm travelling somewhere in Japan, I want to be able to communicate better with people, spend more time to know how people live. Without proper conversation skills, I cannot do such things. In SILAC, the lessons are bound by the curriculum, and so is the teaching style of the faculty. I was very glad that Yamasa provided the flexibility for me to transfer, because the Semi-Private program has been excellent for meeting my needs.

H: How about your accommodation?
J: I am living in Villa 3 at the moment. It is quiet and good for study. I have no problems of living there. There are two things that I want to mention though. If possible, I want to suggest to the school to buy a small table and chair or a set of crockery with a small table allowing me to eat in the kitchen. I don't like to remove all of my books on the desk and eat in front of the TV everyday. Also, there is not much space for preparing the foods. If school can arrange such things, it would be perfect to me.
H: Sounds like another job for Declan.

H:I heard you have many travel experience in Japan. Do you have any feeling or want to share experience with us?
J: I have been to Osaka, Kobe, Nagoya, and Takayama. It is a good experience to look at people. I can make the comparison between Montreal and Japan. I can also tell friends about Japan when I go back. Ramen is a big interest as well. For me, Japanese culture is not only art itself but also where people live, how the foods eat like, how they raise children... I like Kabuki but it is just one part of the culture.
H: Do you have any plans for when you finish the course at Yamasa?
J: I will travel around Japan for 3 months, from the south to the north, up to Hokkaido. My plan is to take my time somewhere, stay in some hotels in a few places and just hang around. They are my final goals for coming Japan.

H: Any message for students who are enrolling or planning to enroll in a course at Yamasa?
J: For everyone, I just want to suggest just to be "open-minded". I think for most western people, Japan is very different from where they live. Some people may have difficulties adjusting to the life here while they are in Japan already. In Japan, there are many new things, buts its not a new world. Maybe you cannot accept something, such as people, culture, and food. But why not try to adopt them. For example, I was surprised with the taste of Ramen the first time, but the second time I start to appreciate it. And now I like Ramen as I have become used to it.

H: And finally, what is your overall image of Japan?
J: I like Japan. People are very helpful. They are very polite and respect to another people. The food is also good. In sum, I quite enjoy the life here.


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