I have been taking Japanese for two years here at Drake. In those two years, I did not only learn the language but also the culture. I’ve interacted with native speakers and was able to communicate with them using the skills that I learned from class. Through the interactions with native speakers, I was able to experience and practice some of their cultural values.
It has been a fun and valuable experience for me as I am planning to further my studies in Japan after graduating from Drake. My major is Chemistry and I plan to use both my science and language skills/ knowledge to become a translator. I think the Japanese courses that Drake offers really help me in polishing my communication skills and also taught me to respect and appreciate other cultures.
My name is Samantha Dao and I am currently enrolled in Drake's pre-pharmacy program. For me, Japanese is a fun and engaging elective, and it is refreshing to take a class that is outside of my major. I was fortunate enough to complete four years of Japanese in high school, and the ability to continue my foreign language studies was a key factor in my decision to attend Drake. In this ever-shrinking world where understanding of other cultures has become an asset-perhaps even necessary-I was extremely impressed by the variety of languages offered here.
As a person of Japanese descent born and raised in Iowa, it has been especially meaningful to be able to take Japanese classes at Drake. Although I come to class equipped with experience and understanding of Japan's culture and customs, Dr. Sazawa pushes me to master even more. I have found relevance in everything I have learned during Sazawa-sensei's lectures. Through small class sizes and informal discussions, it has also been invaluable to interact with fellow students who operate and learn at the same level as me. Whether I end up using the skills I've gained in my profession or for my own enjoyment, taking Japanese at Drake has contained personal value quite unlike what other classes can provide for me.