The Japanese version of this article is HERE.
Last month I received an invitation to my university’s alumni reception held at the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo. This was their first time to hold an alumni event in a foreign land so I thought I should not miss it. I took a night bus and headed over to Tokyo.
I am a graduate of Vancouver Island University (Former Malaspina University-College) in B.C, Canada. I learnt so much from the 4-year academic education there. It was such a wonderful experience which I could never have wished for if I had not acquired English at an English conversation school in Japan prior to enrollment. I believe that the combination of my English learning in Japan and the academic education at this university played an important role in preparing me to become an English conversation coach at Smith’s School of English Ohtsu.
Until the day of the reception, I could not imagine what the event would be like because I didn’t know who would be attending it. I went to the venue with high hopes of seeing my old friends there. After a while, my friend Theresa (Manager Int’l Education Contracts & Group Programs), Dr. Ralph Nilson (President), and Dr. Graham Pike (Dean of International Education) arrived.
“Nice to meet you! My name is Chiharu. Thank you for inviting us.”
I greeted Dr. Nilson and he said,
“Oh, YOU are Chiharu! I have something for you.”
From his pocket, came out a letter from my friend Janet, who has been working in his office!
I was very touched by this wonderful surprise and I was also very grateful that Dr. Nilson himself brought it all the way from Canada.
Japanese and Canadian friends gathered, had some finger food and drinks, and enjoyed chatting. It was great that I could also make new friends.
Since this reception was held in Japan, I suspected that many of the participants would speak in Japanese; however, most of them communicated in English like the good old days! I was very excited to see my old friends, feel “Canada” once again, and learn how things are at the university. It was also delightful to learn that I could keep in touch with the University staff and graduates and even see them in Japan.
I would like to thank Dr. Nilson and Dr. Pike for inviting us to such a wonderful alumni reception in Tokyo. If another alumni event will be held in the future, I would definitely like to attend again.
NOTE: Vancouver Island is located 1.5 hours away from Vancouver by ferry. You can enjoy seeing magnificent nature and encountering many wild animals such as deer, woodpeckers, otters and seals. I highly recommend everyone to visit there someday!
Smith’s School of English Ohtsu, Chiharu