Steff Bates

Japanese Studies and Education Studies, 2018

Steff Bates

I went abroad in my 3rd year and spent a year at Yamanashi University in Japan. It was great – all the staff and students were very helpful and I have made many friends and long-lasting contacts

Steff Bates spent a year at Yamanashi University in Japan and gained valuable experience working in the Japanese education system. She now plans to work and live in Japan as a primary school teacher.

Prior to coming to University, I was working in an unfulfilling job, but I wanted to do something more. I took an access to higher education course, which enabled me to apply for a degree at Brookes. I am now studying Japanese and Education Studies. I wanted a combination that would give me a range of skills and offer me a variety of options in the job market.

The majority of my studies are online, like library research and class catch up. I’ve occasionally gone to socials with the Japanese society and sailing with the water sports club. I’ve also enjoyed exploring the Cotswolds.

My course has enabled me to learn Japanese and to gain a better understanding of education theory and practice. My academic advisor Alexander Jacoby is truly inspiring; he has lived in Japan and succeeded in a career that blends his passions. My Education Studies tutor Nick Swarbrick is also very encouraging and helpful.

I took the free language module as part of my studies and I’m now learning Mandarin. I started learning Japanese as a beginner and now my Japanese is at intermediate level, but I wanted to start learning a new language on top of that. My aim is to learn Japanese, Mandarin and Korean, and I’m discovering connections in the languages that I find interesting.

I went abroad in my 3rd year and spent a year at Yamanashi University in Japan. It was great – all the staff and students were very helpful and I have made many friends and long-lasting contacts. The year abroad gave me a unique perspective of the Japanese education and work culture. I worked several part-time teaching jobs out there. These were valuable experiences, that helped me realise my ambition to become an elementary English teacher in Japan, and I hope in the future to find ways to improve their currently failing English education.

I have just finished an application for the Japan Jet Program (The Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme is an official Japanese Government scheme aiming to improve foreign language teaching in schools). The Brookes careers service were great at helping me with my application and it will start when I graduate. The application process really affirmed how much my degree-level research will contribute towards my future career. The work experience I gained on my year abroad through all my child care work and the modules I took on Japanese Educational Reformations and the English education system will be particularly useful. Although speaking Japanese is not a requirement for my new job, it is necessary for me to live in Japan.