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GlobaLinks Summer - World Campus - Japan
GO: Why did you study abroad with GlobaLinks' World Campus program in Japan?
Henning: My primary goal was to experience the Japanese culture from within, and World Campus gave me a great opportunity to do just that. In addition I really wanted to get to know people from all over the world. What really made World Campus stand out was the traveling though. I wanted to see as much of Japan as I could, and I couldn't (and still can't) find a better option.
GO: What made your study abroad experience unique and special?
Henning: The group we're traveling with is diverse, but not too big. You get to know each and every one you're traveling with, and you learn more about Japanese culture and way of life than any other program that I know of. Host families are there because they're interested in the participants, not because they want to learn English, or because they're getting paid or anything like that.
GO: How has this experience impacted your future?
Henning: World Campus has given me an insane amount of experience in many different areas, including dealing with different cultures, facilitating something like World Campus in a city, setting up shows, dealing with sponsors, etc.
After traveling with them as a participant, I got accepted as an intern, and volunteered for them for two more programs.
Now I'm representing World Campus in Norway, and I'm getting experience through interviewing potential participants, and general PR work. It's a lot of fun to see what works and what doesn't, whilst constantly making new friend along the way.
The experience I've gained looks really good on my resume, and I'm far better suited for leading positions now than I've ever been before. These are "soft skills", which can't really be learned at a school in the same way.
When I first came to Japan I had no idea what to do with my life except that I wanted to experience Japan.
Whilst there I saw a sign language interpreter work for the first time in my life. Now, a few years later, I'm working as a freelance sign language interpreter, and thanks to the network I created via World Campus, I've been able to get in touch with Japanese sign language interpreters. So I'm going back to Japan in September to study Japanese language, as well as Sign Language and deaf culture over there. It's not unlikely the experiences I gain will be the basis for a masters degree.
I always imagined work as something you have to do to earn money. Now I can't believe there's people willing to pay me for the stuff I do for a living. World Campus impacted me in so many different ways, it's actually easier to say what parts of my life hasn't been changed by World Campus than vice versa.
About GlobaLinks Learning Abroad
GlobaLinks Learning Abroad, originally titled AustraLearn, was created by Cynthia Banks in direct response to requests from an Australian university to assist U.S. students who wanted to study abroad in Australia. They have been in operation since 1987. Since then, AustraLearn became the largest provider of study abroad programs to more than 25 universities in Australia and added new partner institutions in New Zealand and Fiji.
In 2008, AustraLearn expanded its reach to more regions of the world. EuroLearn and AsiaLearn were created as additional programs of GlobaLinks Learning Abroad to accommodate an increasing demand from students and advisors for structured, well supported, and affordable programs in destinations worldwide.