Takahiro “Tanch” Hosoya, American Studies Program 2006, has already had some very interesting experiences in his life. After graduating from Tokyo International University in 2008, he went to work for a Japanese company, but he really felt that he needed to see more of the world. He had learned about international cooperation in the classroom, but wanted to experience what that was like out in the real world.
So after four years as a salesman, he quit his job and signed up to volunteer with JICA, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (http://www.jica.go.jp/english/index.html) as a JOCV – Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers.
Tanch was sent to Mozambique where he worked on income improvement of small-scale farmers. He worked with the farmers on rice production, beekeeping, and food processing technology, such as making jam. He then organized markets for introducing and selling their products.
When asked what was the best thing about this experience, Tanch replied that he most enjoyed making friends from all around the world, not only Mozambique. Through international cooperation, he met many other volunteers from other countries and learned many things from them. As to the worst thing about the experience? Mosquitos ticks, and fleas! Life in Mozambique was a constant battle against itching.
Tanch reflected on participating in the ASP program in Salem and said that because he did many volunteer activities during the program here, he became hooked on volunteering! He also remembers that the volunteer activities were with different types of people – various ages and various ethnicities – which led him to become very interested in meeting more people from around the world! He highly recommends the JICA volunteer experience to any ASP or WU students who may be interested in international cooperation.
What’s next for Tanch? He got a job at JICA Obihiro. He will support trainees from overseas and will do the public relations activities of the volunteers. After working for JICA for up to two years, Tanch would like to attend graduate school and focus on international cooperation or something related to it. He hasn’t decided his future goal yet because there are so many great options. He’s going to take some time to think about that.
Click here to see photos from Tanch's Mozambique experience.