Tatsuya Hirano, ASP06, is currently living in Serbia and working for the University of Belgrade and studying Serbian. Tatsuya works with Professor Ljiljana Markovic who is the vice-dean of the Philology Department. Tatsuya is making letters and various documents for Professor Markovic to send to the Japanese Embassy in Serbia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Japan, and universities in Japan. They also made a Kanji textbook in Serbian, which is the first time in history that has been done. Currently in Serbia, if people want to study Japanese, they would first have to study high-level English because all the descriptions were in English. Now, it will be easier for the Serbian people who want to study Japanese.
When asked about his time in the American Studies Program (ASP) at Willamette University, Tatsuya replied, "I spent great time at Willamette University/TIUA in the ASP Program. I tried to speak English with Americans as much as I could. They were really great communicative people."
When asked if he would recommend the program to other TIU students, Tatsuya said, "I know if you go to Willamette, you may feel a little lonely and homesick at first. I wanted to learn English. Some ASP students spent 99% of their time with other Japanese students, and some ASP students spent 99% of their time with Americans. I think both extremes are not good. I recommend having a good balance between Japanese and Americans. You should take care of both of them. Make a great international atmosphere for yourself. Later, if you work in another country, there may be a lot of nationalities. The ASP Program was the first practical experience for me and you can never study this in a book. Some people may dislike Japanese people, some people argued with me, but some people were interested in other cultures. Don't be shy. Make a lot of mistakes, but keep trying. That is what I did at Willamette University/TIUA in the ASP Program."
Tatsuya is also doing some modeling and acting. He was recently an “extra” and played a member of a Japanese gang, for the movie “Everly” with Salma Hayek.
You can also see some of his modeling work at this Stocksy site.