Four AB English interns have successfully completed their internship program at the Saku Chosei Junior and Senior High School in Japan.
They are Jhonamae del Rio, Johnnel Chavez, Earl Joy Canonigo, and Michelle Rose Cañete, They started in September and finished in December 2018.
The interns are part of the Student Internship Abroad Program (SIAP) of the University of San Jose-Recoletos, wherein the university collaborates with a school outside of the country and sends students for internship and cultural immersion. The project aims to give way to a wider array of opportunities for the Josenians abroad.
All four interns agree that SIAP was indeed a big opportunity for them to explore jobs in other countries.
“For us, we see light at the end of the tunnel. We were focusing on finishing our degree, then the SIAP came and it really changed our perspective in life, not just as students, but also as responsible individuals,” says Johnnel Chavez, one of the interns.
The four are the pioneering group from the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) to join the program. Being the first batch from their college, the students admit feeling the intense pressure of bearing the university’s and the country’s name to the people of Japan.
“I realized that we are bringing the Filipino name, so we tried to expose what we can offer also. We were bringing the name of our country and also of our university. We are proud of that. It was part of our achievement and that’s very fulfilling on our part,” Chavez shared.
Nevertheless, they still find the ordeal memorable and knowledgeable despite it having both ups and downs.
“The best (part of the experience) is all the ups and downs. It was tough for us for the first few weeks, but then, you cannot experience the ups if you were not able to experience the downs,” Canonigo conferred.
The interns share their struggles in bridging the cultural gap between the Japanese and Filipino cultures at first as the two are far different from each other especially in terms of the classroom setting. Their only way was to follow and adapt to the Japanese culture and people.
They described that the Japanese students were also very friendly and polite, which made their stay in the foreign country bearable. To communicate well with the students, the interns took it upon themselves to learn basic Japanese words.
According to Chavez, the school’s administration and the teachers and students of Saku Chosei High School responded positively to them. Having received such good feedback, they shared that it felt overwhelming for them as they did not think they would be able to reach the Japanese people’s expectations.
“We did not know what will happen. We just did our best and tried to be creative and resourceful. More than impressing them, we wanted to leave a trace so they could remember us,” he added.
To the four interns, their three-month-long stay in the Land of the Rising Sun was “sugoi” (Japanese word meaning amazing). They added that it was an experience filled with life-long lessons that certainly helped them build a better version of themselves as students and as future educators.
Written by Raine Olila (LIACOM intern)
University of San Jose - Recoletos
Year Founded 1947