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Onaca Bennett, BA, 2018

Field of Study: B.A. in Asian Studies

Graduation Year: 2018

I had been fascinated with Japan since childhood and knew that I wanted to major in Asian Studies when I started college. Throughout my studies, my experiences in the ALC department confirmed that I had made a great choice. I was consistently impressed by the breadth and quality of classes offered. I never had difficulty finding classes that I was truly interested in taking, from Japanese Narrative Design Lab with Professor Reginald Jackson to Gender and Power in Southeast Asia with Professor Deirdre de la Cruz. In addition, the classes I took in the ALC department pushed me to develop strong research and critical thinking skills. These skills are invaluable ones that I continue to use and build on today.

After graduating in 2018, I took a job in Japan with the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program. I was placed at a senior high school in Ibaraki, where I have worked for the past four years. I have spent my time in Japan learning to be a better teacher, building on the Japanese I learned in college by conversing with my coworkers and friends, and participating in cultural exchange programs where I taught local residents how to make American dishes and gave presentations on various topics for higher level English learners looking to improve their listening and discussion skills. Although it has been a wonderful experience, I will be moving on from my position this year to move to Wales in the UK. Once I have settled in, I hope to continue my education by entering graduate school for Information Sciences.