Jetting off to Japan just after graduation will kick-start Hannah Fowler’s teaching career and introduce her to a newfound sense of independence.
The English student at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) is looking forward to starting her role as an Assistant Language Teacher in August, through the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme.
“I’ve never been to Japan before so it’s going to be a totally new experience. I’m looking forward to immersing myself in its culture, learning about its history and finding out about its future,” said the 20-year-old from Oadby in Leicester.
“The world is so much bigger than our tiny island. I’ll be working in Tokushima, a city on Shikoku island, but I plan to save up my money and travel around as much as I can.”
Hannah found out about the Japanese government scheme after attending DMU’s annual careers fair during the second year of her course.
She said: “DMU helped me realise that this is what I wanted to do. When I went along to the fair, I talked to representatives from the JET programme and it felt like it was the right thing for me.
“There’s a big emphasis on employment at DMU and I’ve always felt like there are plenty of options for students studying humanities courses. It’s been encouraging to be taught that it’s not just a STEM subject world out there.”
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Before attending an interview with JET, Hannah took up every opportunity available to give herself the best chance of securing a job.
First, she took Japanese lessons, and then she worked with her tutors to teach exchange students through Frontrunners, DMU's internal placement scheme.
Hannah also gained an accredited Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) qualification through #DMUglobal, the university’s international experience programme.
“If I hadn’t done all of this I wouldn’t have gotten the job. I’m grateful that DMU’s employment opportunities are well-advertised and everything just came together for me,” she said.
“Even my experience with #DMUlocal during my first year was valuable.
“I volunteered at a local school, tutoring students who were struggling with English. Although I enjoyed my time there, I realised I was looking for a bigger challenge, and that’s when I started thinking about teaching English as a foreign language.”
Hannah chose to study at DMU because it was close to home and she was satisfied that the disability team could offer the support she needed for her spinal condition.
She said: “It’s the small things that made all the difference, like being given a supportive chair for my back and also being allowed to sit my exams in a separate room so that I was more relaxed.
“My lecturers have been really great too and DMU has excellent facilities. Even though I commuted in from home, I’ve had an incredible experience at university.
“I’m proud of how much I’ve achieved and now I’m looking forward to my new life and the independence that will come with it.”
Posted on Wednesday 18th July 2018