Rich - America
Why do you want to learn Japanese?
As a kid, I became familiar with Japan through it’s entertainment, as an adult I came to know and admire the Japanese culture, work-ethic, sense of personal responsibility and order that promotes a peaceful and harmonious society.
Several years ago, I decided I wanted to experience this first-hand and stay in Japan as much as possible each year to introduce a better work-life balance. I began to study the language, worked with native language exchange partners, became friends with them and their families, and, before Corona closed the border, I was spending 4-5 months each year staying in Yokohama. Now I want to improve my friendships here by being able to better enjoy conversations in their native Japanese.
Why did you choose Japan Switch?
When Corona caused the closure of the border in Japan, I was suddenly cut off from my friends, my apartment, and my life there. There was nothing I could do and felt quite troubled about the situation. It was difficult to accept. As it continued into its second year, I started losing hope. I thought the best way to deal with this was stop feeling victimized by things out of my control and to do everything that was within my power to enjoy Japan even more once I was allowed to re-enter. I decided to double-down on my language studies.
I wanted to take lessons that originated from Japan, with native Japanese instructors, at a reputable school. Because I am in the US, the time difference was a challenge. The sessions that Japan Switch holds in the mornings Japan-time matched up perfectly with my schedule here on the US West Coast.
How are your lessons?
I hoped I would find the lessons helpful in continuing my study, but my expectations were far exceeded. The lesson plans designed by Japan Switch, as well as the study materials and original textbooks, are excellent. I take two lessons a week and I am very happy to say that both of my instructors are skillful, very well prepared, enthusiastic, and make our hour studying together highly educational and enjoyable. This makes me look forward to the lessons each week, and because of this and the well crafted course, I am learning faster and more than I expected when I signed up. The textbook study on Tuesdays paired with practical conversation interaction on Thursdays has made for the perfect combination.
How did Japan Switch surprise you?
The enthusiasm and welcoming nature of the instructors surprised and pleased me very much. I had tried another online language course early on in the pandemic. I found the class to be quite formal and sterile. It was more lecture based compared to the collaborative group lessons at Japan Switch, and I didn’t take to it as well as I do studying with others. Taking group lessons with other motivated and excited students really helps me as I am learning not only from the structured lessons and my teachers, but from my fellow students in the class as they share their own experiences living in Japan and their classroom questions.
Has your life changed since starting lessons with Japan Switch?
My feeling of helplessness over the Corona border closures has been replaced with a sense of empowerment that I am doing all that I can do right now. So when the situation is resolved and travel resumes to Japan, I had not just wasted two years being disappointed and held back by the situation, but rather that I did my best to continue to build for the day I can return to enjoy life with my friends in Japan. Hopefully through my classes, perhaps I will find I have made a couple more friends with whom I can enjoy Japan.
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Japan Switch provides affordable morning and noon Japanese lessons in Tokyo. Centrally located, relaxed environment and quality textbooks. Japan Switch is your alternative option to a Japanese language school in Tokyo.
Opening Days : Monday - Friday
Shinjuku Branch : Opening Hours
9:30 - 1:30 PM
2:00 - 5:00 PM
Online Branch : Opening Hours
9:00 - 6:00 PM