Colleges second in country for English teaching placements in Japan – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Colleges second in country for English teaching placements in Japan

HWS Students make an impact with Nova Group.

Thousands of miles and the world’s largest ocean separate New York and Japan. This fall, eight members of the classes of 2007 will be taking that trip – not as tourists, but as teachers with Nova Group, the largest English language school in the country.

“This was a fantastic result for us, said Don Smith, a recruiter in Nova’s Boston office. “Our only better on-campus recruiting numbers came from the University of Florida, but of course there are about 20,000 more students there.

Because Nova places teachers at 900 schools throughout the islands of Japan, an experience as an English teacher can go far beyond the typical tourist experience: living like a local, absorbing Japanese culture, learning the language.

Even a day at work can provide a window onto Japanese life. “Our students come from every segment of Japanese society, said Smith, “from four year old children to bankers and sushi-shop workers. Every student-teacher relationship adds something to the equation, another dimension of life and work in East Asia.

It’s a picture that appealed to Laura Geisenheimer ’07, who studied abroad with the Colleges in Madrid, Spain. “I wanted a better understanding of a culture that’s different from our own, said the Spanish and international relations major. “The idea of traveling for a year, seeing the country, experiencing the culture, learning Japanese – it will be a major asset to everything I do later in life.

What makes international companies like Nova so appealing to HWS students? It’s a simple question for Smith. “HWS has a really good foreign language and study abroad program, he said. “It’s no surprise that students get that bug to see the world.

The liberal arts may also play a role, inviting students to explore the diversity of an ever-shrinking globe. “I learned about education and East Asia, said Ellen Witoff ’07. “You can do that here even if you’re majoring in French like I was. For students like Witoff, who completed two study-abroad programs, the world is already a classroom. “After spending a semester in Senegal I feel like I can do anything, she said.

While graduates like Witoff and Geisenheimer wait to find out exactly where they’ll be placed, (hot springs in Kyushu, skiing in Hokkaido?) they reflect on the paradox of “living life a day ahead, past the International Dateline and immersed in another culture.

It’s a world of experience that, for HWS students, is increasingly becoming a common thread.