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Erna Tonsberg
Erna Tonsberg

STUDENT INTERVIEW: Erna Tonsberg (SILAC)

Patty: Hi Erna, I was wondering if I can interview you for this week's newsletter?
Erna: Okay, yeah!
P: Since class ends at 2:30pm for you, so I'll see you after class then?
Erna: Sure.

later that day............................

P: Thanks for agreeing to do the interview.
E: No problem.
P: Where are you from?
E: I'm from Iceland.
P: You're our first interviewee from Iceland. Tell me how Iceland and Japan compare.
E: Although both Japan and Iceland are islands and very cold right now (maybe Iceland is colder and snowing), but Japan is very very very different from Iceland. Not just the culture, but the population too. Japan is very crowded and there are only 290,000 people in Iceland - everyone is very friendly. However, it's nice to see how different Japan is from Iceland.

P: So, what made you decide to study Japanese?
E: Well, my friend back in Iceland is Japanese and one summer I visited her in Tokyo for about a month, stayed at her grandparents' house and went to school with her. She came to Japan to learn how to read and write Japanese because she can only speak the language. It was great to go to school during that stay, so I wanted to study more and now it's becoming a hobby.
P: I see, so did you take any Japanese lessons back in Iceland?
E: No, I basically studied on my own.

P: How did you find out about Yamasa?
E: Through a former Yamasa student from Iceland and also the internet. The webpage contains a lot of information.
P: Why did you choose SILAC?
E: I wanted to study for 10 weeks and Jon Walden from admissions recommended it as the best choice for me.
P: What do you think of the class, teachers and your classmates at Yamasa?
E: I like everything, it's all good. I learn a lot everyday. Since there are only 3 students in my class, I get more attention. Likewise, everything is mainly in Japanese, but if I really don't understand or can't use Japanese to ask, I'm able to ask in English sometimes which helps.

P: Where are you staying at the moment?
E: I'm staying at a shared room in the Student Village. Everything is nice, the kitchen, the space, I like the whole atmosphere. I'm also lucky with the roommate I have right now, she's also my classmate. We hang out together all the time.

P: I know it's only been a few days, but what do you do in your spare time?
E: Well, I went to Nagoya and Nara last weekend. Last Saturday was actually my graduation ceremony for university.
P: Really! You're not there, but in Japan, in fact in Nagoya!
E: That's right (laugh).

P: And what are you going to do when you finish at Yamasa?
E: Well, since I studied International Marketing, I hope I can use Japanese and make some connections with it, but I don't know how to do that yet.

P: Do you have any advice for new comers?
E: Learn your hiragana and katakana before hand and be open minded.

P: Thanks for your time.
E: Sure, no problem!

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