Before I Jump In, A bit about Me エヴリーン (Evelyn)
Hajimemashite! My name is Evelyn Cooke, a rising sophomore marketing major at Howard University in Washington, D.C. I am only 18 years old, which makes me the youngest in the CIEE group (luckily I have met one 17 year-old in the summer session at Sophia University that understands my struggle) so I have a pretty unique experience. I live in Staten Island, New York so moving to Tokyo didn’t seem like it would be too much of a culture shock as I am accustomed to the hustle and bustle of big city life. That's what I THOUGHT.
You may be thinking, wow a rising sophomore studying abroad already? (or not lol) So, I would like to start by explaining why I decided to buy a $1,700 plane ticket to go halfway across the world.
As the youngest child of mostly males, I learned early on to appreciate the entertainment choices of my brothers. This led me to finding much appreciation for Japanese anime, games and toys. Continuing this interest, I began to volunteer at an annual Japan Day event held at Central Park in Manhattan which introduced me to the real culture. Here is where the dream of one day seeing this beautiful country first-hand was created.
During my first year at Howard, I decided to fulfill my language requirements by studying Japanese, (my older sister had taken Chinese and my inner child strayed away from wanting to be a “copy-cat” even though I admired her choice) It was during this class that a recruiter from a popular game company, Namco Bandai (responsible for things like Soul Caliber, Tekken and Pac-man for you gamers) came and told the class about summer marketing internships right here in Tokyo. Unfortunately, to apply, you need to know more than how to count and introduce yourself in Japanese. So, to prepare myself for applying in the near future, I decided that covering myself in the culture and language was the best solution.
While my school doesn’t make studying abroad very easy to do, in the long run, taking classes at Sophia University will help me to continue to learn Japanese. I have come to realize that language courses I have taken move at a much slower pace than what I need to become comfortable with the language any time soon. Taking not only language courses, but a business course as well will provide me with credits and everything I need to know to get around Tokyo at a basic level.
CIEE was the only choice for me!
I chose more specifically to come through the CIEE program because I had the option to stay with a Japanese family which would allow me to learn the structures and manners of the culture first-hand. Also, this program seemed to be the freest in terms of allowing for time to explore and see whatever it is that interests me about Japan.
I am here to have fun, put aside my American ways, and enjoy all that this country has to offer. I was nervous at first but to those interested out there that sound like me, hopefully my story will give you all you need/want to know.
This is my first time blogging so I hope I don't put you to sleep, I will try not to ramble on about myself anymore lol
In case you were wondering:
List of other Namco Bandai games - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Namco_games