Janet Hughen’s thoughts on KCP

KCP alumna Janet Hughen, a returning student from the U.K., shared this insight with us about her time spent with KCP in Tokyo.

KCP’s strengths
KCP has great teachers. They are always happy to meet you outside of regular class time to help you. KCP has great support staff—both the English program coordinators and the English support teacher.

The English coordinators help you with anything you need, such as taking you to the doctor when you are sick, speaking to the doctor in Japanese, and translating the doctor’s comments to you into English. Or helping you figure out how to register at the ward office, or get your luggage sent to the airport—really anything you need help with.

The English support teacher’s class is where you can ask a question in English. When you are in the Japanese class, only Japanese is spoken in the class, but in the English support class, you can ask a question in English. The price is reasonable and the location is convenient.

Who benefits from the program

All students benefit from the program, but the ones who gain the most in Japanese ability are students who can put in serious and consistent effort.

Janet, second from right. U.S. classmate Christina Ricci on her right.

To prepare or not to prepare
I didn’t really prepare much for the program, and it would have  helped. You really need to know the hiragana and katakana before arriving. You will be tested on them before the end of the first week of class, so definitely learn them well—memorize them—ahead of time.

Final words

My time at KCP was one of the best, most challenging academic experiences I have ever had. KCP is a stellar institution. I learned to speak Japanese there and the Level 1 teachers I had will tell you, when I arrived at KCP, my Japanese level was zenzen wakarimasen (doesn’t understand Japanese at all). I left there, 1 year and 9 months later, able to manage most daily situations speaking entirely in Japanese.

KCP also goes to great lengths to expose us to the Japanese culture. We had many opportunities every term to speak Japanese with volunteers who came to KCP just to talk with us and help us learn. We also had opportunities to meet with Japanese university students and cook a meal together. My time at KCP was amazing and I highly recommend it to anyone with a desire to learn lots of Japanese.