CPIT student shares Kiwi culture in Japan
Bachelor of Japanese Language graduate Chris Cameron is representing New Zealand in Japan this year as the Coordinator for International Relations (CIR) at the Hiroshima Peace Park. He was offered the exciting opportunity through The Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme (JET) and joins four other CPIT graduates in JET placements throughout Japan.
Chris’s CPIT degree has equipped him well with the language and cultural skills he needs to live in Japan. He translates Japanese into English daily for newsletters, helps with interpretation at events and gives presentations to schools in Japanese.
“Studying at CPIT prepared me very well for my position. The intense Japanese language and culture courses at CPIT equip you with everything that you need to know for living and working in Japan,” he says.
“One course in particular that I think is very useful was the Japanese Business Language course. Everything that I learned in that course I have encountered at work and I would definitely recommend it to any student who wants to work in Japan in the future.”
Chris’s day to day duties are varied but his favourite part of being CIR is visiting schools to talk about New Zealand life and culture.
“I even quite often teach the kids a bit of Kiwi slang and also some Maori greetings. I like to tell people about Maori culture and also the differences between Japan and NZ,” he says.
His most memorable moment in the role so far has been interpreting on stage at an international event called the Peace and Love day in front of thousands of people.
“I had to stand on the main stage with the MC and interpret what they were saying into English. There have been many other memorable moments for me since starting my role but this was the most nerve racking of them all,” he says.
Chris plans to use his Japanese translation skills to work in the tourism industry in New Zealand when he returns. His experiences as CIR in Japan have added to his knowledge of Japanese language and culture. He sees himself continuing to work with the Japanese people throughout his career.