In the last article in this series, we introduced cases where you could come to Japan directly after graduating. However, in this article, we would like to introduce a story where one of our team came to Japan to study after already becoming a member of society in their home country. That story is of Maru! One of our FUN! JAPAN editorial Hong Kong staff members.

My 1st Choice for a 3rd Language is Japanese!

After graduating from a vocational school within Hong Kong, I entered into an international trade-related company and did tasks relating to customs procedures for imports/exports etc. Whilst doing that job I worked with Japanese clients a few times, but only ever used English. It was then that I thought "Japanese would be really useful in situations like this and make communication a lot easier. Japanese would be really beneficial for my future" which helped me decide to begin studying Japanese. Just after that, I received unpaid leave from my work and made my decision to study abroad in Japan.

I Want to Improve Quickly - Coming to Japan Without Being Able to Speak Japanese

If you're wanting to learn a new language quickly, the best thing to do is study it in its native country. Also, I wasn't that young anymore, and didn't want to waste my time, so I went directly to Japan to study Japanese. When it came to picking a place to study, I thought about Osaka and Fukuoka as I'd visited them prior during trips to Japan, but for studying, I thought it had to be Kantō region. 

Image for illustration purpose only

Before coming I could not speak a word of Japanese. My lessons started with the very basics. The lessons themselves were very lively and easy to understand even for a complete beginner. After around 3 months, in order to improve both my listening and conversational skills, I decided to try and find some part-time work; after being interviewed at a ramen restaurant, I was hired. My level at the time was enough to maybe say a simple sentence such as "This is black, this is white".

After graduating from Japanese language school, I wondered if there was any need for a Cantonese-speaking person in any Japanese companies. I did some googling and found my current workplace. At first, I was only working part-time, but I was offered a full-time contract and work-visa by the company, to which I replied that I "would love to try it out!" and thus my stay in Japan was confirmed.

My Reason for Working at FUN! JAPAN

When I was living in Hong Kong, I loved to read prose and photography. After coming to Japan, I decided to start writing a blog, I was writing about Japan itself and the experiences I was having. After entering FUN! JAPAN, there was a chance for me to begin writing for my work as well as to visit lots of different areas. I can work using my native language whilst doing things I enjoy, it's extremely fun whilst also being very educational.

The Japanese I studied at school was textbook Japanese, and the Japanese I used in the workplace was very different. I was able to feel myself improving.

Advice for People Planning to Come to Japan

If you're someone who thinks "I can't speak Japanese", or "It's scary and I'm anxious", then you should first study the very basics of Japanese in your native language. If you want to improve your Japanese exponentially in a short amount of time, then I would definitely recommend studying the language in Japan. You can also meet a lot of new friends, all of whom come from different countries, lifestyles, and backgrounds. Before you know it, your plan may have changed from it's original form, but that's life! You should have faith, if you can take the first step, then your life may just change in ways you didn't even expect!

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