China / Higashikawa Japanese Language School 6 month course

Q. It will be 30 degrees in the summer and it will be negative 20 degrees in the winter in Higashikawa. How do you think about the large temperature gap? Tell us about it through your experience living here.

I am from northern China so I am fine with the cold. Also in the summer it will be 40 degrees so it feels cooler here and it is good. In the winter it is going to be negative 10 degrees so it is not that different.

The thing I was surprised about is there are not a lot of people here and many buses on this route (one bus an hour). It is hard to adjust my time to the buses when I go to Asahikawa.

Higashikawa is good neighborhood and safe. There are not a lot of cars and people at night but I am not scared. The dorm has a curfew so I go back by 22.

Q. Tell us about some activities in Higashikawa.

I often go for a walk. I take pictures of green plants and flowers while walking. I went to the observation area at the Taisetsu mountain national park. It was a good weather and I could see beautiful scenery. Especially the short-term exchange students from southern China have not seen the snow much in the winter. We played a snowball fight.

I go to the “Risouyumekoubou” as well and do pottery. I have been here several times when I was here as a short-term exchange student. I go there by bike in the summer. I cannot ride a bike in the winter because of the snow but during the spring and fall, I go everywhere by bike.

Q. Tell us what you think about the business courses? And also what did you learn from them? There are three different courses, which one are you taking?

I learned some business from senior coworkers, but there are no classes specialized in business so I had never learned the formal business etiquette. When you take classes you will go like “ah now I know this happens“ or “in this case I have to do this in Japan” and learn some cases. I will work at the hotel (customer service job) so I am taking classes for business honorific and customer service.

I am taking all three courses (etiquette, management, and administration). They have all different details, and I thought I knew most of business etiquette but I am taking it just to be sure.

I want to work at Japanese company. I am taking the management courses to know how to manage the junior coworkers when I have some. I am taking administration courses to know how to start business because my dream is to have my own company. Even though there are similar points between Japanese and Chinese business but I am learning it.

Q. Do you have a part time job?

I started working at Izakaya (Japanese pub) in Higashikawa by the trigger of joining the open day for stores in Higashikawa. I joined it because there are not a lot of places to work part time and it was said if I was looking for a job I could get some advise. I told them that I wanted work part time, then they had an interview with me right away and I am working with them. Now I am working part time with my friend Yan who I introduced this job.

School ends at 15 and then I go to work at 18. I can go to work after I eat and get a rest.

Izakaya has lots of menus and type of alcohol so I got confused but I got used to it. I can manage going to school and working.

Q. What's your plan after finishing the course?

I got a job at the hotel in Furano. I already had a plan to work in Japan from the beginning so I decided to get a student visa and came to Japan. The short-term visa is considered as business and tourist visa and you may not be able to do job hunting. If you want to work in Japan, I recommend searching up about the contents of visa application.

It was also hard to get a working visa. I got a contact about job details one week after I applied the papers. It was helpful that Japanese language teachers helped me out when I was busy.

Q. Tell us the reason why you decided work in Japan. Do you have a plan to go back to China someday?

I used to be a teacher at a Japanese language school in China. At that time I realized that I gradually forgot Japanese words and could not speak Japanese. I could feel that I was losing my Japanese skills.

I thought about working at Japanese company in China, but I thought it would be hard to work at the company with using Japanese in China because the number of Japanese companies are decreasing. I wanted to use my Japanese skill so I decided to work in Hokkaido. I want to work here as much as possible. I am employed as a contract worker for the starter, but I can take a test in three years and if I could pass that test, I can be a permanent worker.

The job detail is interpretation and front desk at the ski area. My job is to telling the sightseeing spots and the rules of ski area to the Chinese tourists.