Japanese Kids on their way to school

One on One with KCP Alumna Abigail Dunn, Part 5


What if you get bad grades? Is there help?

Abigail: Don’t focus on your grade on tests and get depressed, you have to figure out why you failed. Ask questions, and study more, and talk to the teachers, and don’t speak English to your friends. Practice more. Focus more on proficiency and developing your skills and abilities. People don’t really flunk out, but it’s a waste not to do your best.

There is extra help for English speakers, like tutorial sessions, and they have English support for Levels 1 through 3. I found the whole idea of getting instruction in English as counterproductive. If you had to translate every single thing you’re thinking in English into Japanese, it felt like it was reversing the learning I had done.

Did you have fun?

Abigail: I had a blast!

What are some of the things you for recreation?

Abigail: The No. 1 thing I did was karaoke. It’s not like here where you get up in front of everyone. There they had little rooms with the TV and comfy chairs and you went with your friends. It’s so much fun! It’s a great stress reliever. I did that with all my friends from class, not just Japanese friends, Korean and Chinese friends, too. We all loved it.

We would also go to parks. There’s a really pretty park right by the campus, behind it. In the spring, we had our classes out there among the cherry blossoms. It was really beautiful.

Mostly we hung out in coffee shops and talked – a lot! They loved the American students. Everybody got along. We were all trying to speak Japanese. We shared that in common.

What do you miss most about KCP?

Abigail: I miss taking Japanese classes!

What do you miss about Japan as a whole?


What about the food?

Abigail: Yes! It was excellent, and so cheap. You can get a plate of sushi on a conveyer belt style for like a dollar. Here it’s a minimum of $3.

Do you keep in touch with any of the friends you made there?

Abigail: We have a group chat of my closest friends from the program. I know that they’ll always be my friends. We made those connections.

What are your plans now?

Abigail: I’m moving to Chicago with my roommates. One got a job there so we’re all going after graduation this spring. She’s a computer science major. She had an internship at Bank of America and they hired her. We have been roommates for four years and we don’t want to not be anymore.

I have my communication degree and I love media and filmmaking. I have my YouTube channel and my vlog and I want to do more with that. I create my own videos, vlogs, art videos, sit-down chats, etc.

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLQefKLlOzLQI-GsIoa4ZBw

Blog: https://abigaildunn95.wixsite.com/broadlyspeaking

thank you Abigail for your insights and sharing your amazing story!

Read the previous parts of the series here.