Former IPC Works for JET Program

altShannon Palmer, Willamette University ’12, worked as an International Peer Coach (IPC) for Tokyo International University of America’s American Studies Program (ASP) during her senior year at Willamette. Palmer was also a student athlete, playing tennis for four years at Willamette.  (see additional story)   She graduated in May and is now teaching English in Japan through the JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching) program.

According to Palmer, she always wanted to participate in JET after hearing about the program in high school and having friends who participated. This interest was further encouraged by Palmer's study abroad experience in Japan.

When asked how her experiences working for TIUA contributed towards her aspiration to teach in the JET program, she responded, “Working for TIUA and being an International Peer Coach (IPC - orientation leader) was truly an invaluable experience. I cannot express the joy I had with the ASP students or how proud and impressed I was with how quickly their English improved, as well as how immediately involved some of the students were on campus. It was a great feeling to be a part of their growth and helping them through the beginning of new and memorable experiences. I learned many skills through my experiences at TIUA which will become very useful for JET. Furthermore, I became even more eager about returning to Japan to begin working with new students in a different setting and continuing to be a part of their growth and exposure to a culture different than their own.” 

In addition, Palmer said, “One of the biggest realizations Willamette has taught me is to believe in myself and know what I am truly capable of. I think this realization can be considered helpful in almost any circumstance; however I am aware that I will come across many challenges while working in a foreign country on my own. Yet, it is reassuring to know that through the challenges and experiences I faced at Willamette, I feel ready to face anything. I hope to be able to pass lessons such as these on to my students, so that they too will believe there is nothing they cannot do. “

Currently, Palmer is teaching junior high school and has also had some elementary school visitations in the city of ueda in Nagano Prefecture.

"My experience in Japan so far has been both motivating and inspiring. I've acknowledged how Willamette and TIUA has prepared me for this position, such as being able to confidently give a speech in front of the entire school in English and Japanese on the first day. I have also already noticed a passion for teaching. I am currently helping two students every day after school prepare for a speech contest. Knowing that I am making a difference in their lives, whether it's just on how to correctly pronounce the word "another", or helping them gain confidence and believing in themselves, makes me eager to start work each day and feel very grateful for having this opportunity."

TIUA will be hiring IPCs for the class of 2013 arriving in February. For more information and applications, please look here.

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Tokyo International University of America (TIUA) is committed to the principle of equal opportunity in education and employment.  TIUA does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, ancestry, or national or ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, employment policies, scholarship programs, and other TIUA administered programs and activities.  For the purpose of admission, all students must be formally admitted by Tokyo International University (Kawagoe, Japan) prior to making application to the American Studies Program at Willamette/TIUA.