I’m Juuso Myller, a 22-year-old and I am from Finland. I live in the city of Joensuu near the Russian border with my fiancée and we are both students in the University of Eastern Finland. At the moment I’m studying for a bachelor’s degree in English language and culture and my minor subjects are Japanese language and Teacher studies.
I was introduced to Japan and Japanese culture by anime and manga (big surprise) thanks to a friend of mine. From there I grew more interested in the culture in a more broad sense and I also started studying the language once I got into the University. Soon I became more and more interested in actually going to Japan and experiencing it in person. And then there came the amazing Mr. Nishimura and suddenly I was a participant in World Campus Japan 2015 program, going to Japan for real! After the program, I decided to come back and thankfully got to do so as a program counselor.
As a person who hasn’t really traveled that much (I’ve never been abroad for more than a few days before WCJ) WCJ was a perfect first experience. Granted, it’s not a ”traditional” trip nor a holiday in any sense, but the amount of amazing experiences I got to have, all the great people I got to meet and make friends with and the extremely well-organized program really made the experience one I would and will gladly recommend for anyone. True, the schedule was a little tight given everything we had to do in just three short weeks, but given the wide variety of incredible experiences we had and places we visited it was definitely worth it. And the best aspect of the program is the fact that you can enjoy it to the fullest even if you didn’t know the language. The program operates in English so lack of know-how of Japanese is not an issue at all.
So! Let’s enjoy the ride to ’till the very end and make friends and memories along the way, am I right? If at any stage you have anything to ask we – the program counselors – are here to help and guide you through the tricky bits. So come, experience, get friends and enjoy.
See you all in Japan!
Juuso Myller (Finland)
My name is Helmiina Suuronen, a 21-year-old English major from the University of Eastern Finland. At the start, I got interested in Japan and the Japanese language somewhere around my teens, mostly through music and Studio Ghibli movies, but recently my interest has shifted to trying to get a grasp of the Japanese language.
My first experience with the WCJ was in the summer of 2015 when I participated on session 1. I couldn’t believe I was actually going to be in Japan, living with host families and seeing everyday Japan with their help. Also thanks to WCJ, I made memories I am unlikely to forget anytime soon, like meeting an atomic bomb survivor. Hearing his account of what happened before and after was nothing like reading about it from a book. Overall, I made many new friends from around the globe, and got to try out things that people categorize as the ‘Japanese experience’. Thus I decided to apply for the counselor position, and as luck would have it, here I am!
And to those who are hesitant because they feel that their Japanese skills aren’t enough, you’d be amazed how much you can pick up in just a short time. And remember, we will be using English as our medium language between us WCJ participants, so you don’t need to be afraid of not being understood. It will all be okay. 🙂
As a person, I’d say I’m really bubbly and easy to approach, so don’t be afraid to ask me if you have questions concerning World Campus in Japan. Hope to see you there!
My name is Maki Honda and I am the Operations Manager of World Campus International, Inc.. I’ll be traveling with you all and working for all the logistics stuff during the program. I’m from Kumamoto, Japan where some of the World Campus – Japan program participants gets to visit every summer! (And a black bear next to me on the picture is the official mascot of my city, Kumamon!)
I’ve been working for WCI since 2012, the first two summers as one of the program counselors and the last two years as a manager. I always enjoy meeting new people and learning new cultures by traveling and working with the international group of people. Even though I was born and raised in Japan, traveling with the World Campus – Japan program allowed me to rediscover so many things about my own country and myself, and it has given me such a great opportunities to learn about the world. I am so proud to have these valuable experiences which not many people could have.
One of the greatest skills I’ve gained in World Campus – Japan program is international awareness which I could utilize for being a global citizen, and now I am in charge of some intercultural exchange programs and activities for Japanese students in my hometown, Kumamoto. Since I’ve been working in a quite unique environment, I’ve always wanted to let them see the world from a global perspective. It is really exciting to work with them and see their growth!
Participating the World Campus – Japan program will be a once in a lifetime experience for you! You will learn a lot more than you expect, not only about Japanese cultures but also about your own values, and all the experiences you get during the program will make you a bigger person!
Welcome to Japan! I’m looking forward to meeting you all!
Maki Honda (Japan)