Mrs. King goes to Japan

In UAF on August 25, 2010 at 4:34 pm

Rauchelle King poses for a picture in the International Travel section at the local Barnes and Noble last week. Photo by Jeremia Schrock.

Japanese and Business student Rauchelle King is about to become Mrs. International. No, she isn’t set to wed the world (although she is married), instead she’s about to hitch her wagons and head west to Japan.

Why Japan? “Well, I’m going because I’ve always wanted to…and it’s a degree requirement,” the excited (and pragmatic) King said in a recent interview. King will be heading to Nagoya Gakuin University, a private college, in Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture, Japan in order to accomplish more proficiency with the Japanese language. “It (Japanese) is really hard,” she said. “The best way to learn a language is to be immersed in it.” According to UAF professor David Henry, the average third year student “should be able to converse, more or less” with a native Japanese speaker.

While King’s main goal is language proficiency, she also hopes to help her new Japanese friends better understand American culture. “All they see (of America) is TV and movies,” she said, adding that those from Japan that she has spoken to often have a skewed view of Americans. However, according to Henry, every Japanese student since 1945 had taken at least six years of English. Generally, American English.

“They know more about the states then most (Americans) do,” Henry added.

Ultimately, King intends to start her own consulting firm which would be geared toward working with Japanese businesses and tourists. “I would like to teach a course about Japanese culture and language to employees of Alaskan business[es] so that they can deal with Japanese people [better],” she wrote in a recent email. “[For now], I’ll probably just try to get a job with Chena Hot Springs or Princess Hotels, helping them with their Japanese tourist side of things,” she added.

What’s the worst part about going? Being away from her husband, Josh. “If it wasn’t for him, I’d stay for a year (instead of just one semester).” While she remains enthusiastic about her trip, she is preparing herself for that first day away from Alaska and her beau. “The day (I leave), when my husband drops me off, I’m sure I’ll be bawling my eyes out,” she said.

No word on what she’ll tell her new Japanese friends about Sarah Palin, however.


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