University of Vermont

The College of Arts and Sciences

Japanese Program

Explore Japanese Program

The University of Vermont will give you various opportunities to explore Japan. Here are some comments from students who lived in the Global Village Japanese House, students who studied abroad in and graduates who have careers in Japan.

Aaron J. Kane '16

Japanese Major, GRS: Asian Studies Minor

Study Abroad at Aoyama Gakuin Uniiversity

Arriving at UVM in the fall of 2012, I was an undecided major with an interest in Japanese language and Asian Studies. Within first week of classes, I was absolutely swept up by the tireless enthusiasm, dedication, and knowledge of the Japanese faculty thehere at UVM. I became a Japanese major, and have since found studying this fascinating language alongside like-minded and excited friends to be a wonderful experience. The program focuses on natural speech and autonomous learning, and frequent classes and energetic classmates keep courses challenging and fun. There are many Japanese culture and language clubs at UVM as well, and opportunities for extracurricular study. Through the truly fantastic faculty, I have been inspired to see bilingualism as a goal for the future, and I am now planning my junior year abroad at Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo, 2014-2015. In my experience, this is the real value of Japanese at UVM: the language is taught with fluency as a real, foreseeable goal. Here Japanese is seen as a skill, a skill professors are happy to help students attain. This, I have found, alongside the enthusiastic students and effective courses, to be truly inspirational. I am looking forward to my study abroad, and returning to UVM as a senior!


Hannah Pike '15

Double Major in Asian Studies and Japanese

Study Abroad at Kansai Gaidai University, Osaka

Studying Japanese at the University of Vermont has opened up so many great opportunities for me. My fantastic teachers here have pushed me to new levels of Japanese I never expected I could achieve. My junior year at UVM I was accepted to Kansai Gaidai University for a two-semester study abroad program.

Living abroad in Osaka, Japan has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Living in the most historically rich region in Japan, every weekend I made the most of my time exploring famous and not so well known sites and hiking mountains to hidden away shrines and temples in Kyoto. I had many opportunities to travel around the country and meet with old friends. In addition, I also discovered a new love for the Japanese music scene at the heart of Osaka, and experienced the different cultures surrounding it.

After returning from Japan I joined a program in Vermont to help Japanese high school students learn English during the summer. There I made many new friends while at the same time practiced my own Japanese skills.

I look forward to what the future holds for me in Japan after graduation.



Chandler Meyers
Chandler Meyers '13

Japanese Major, Asian Studies Minor

Study Abroad at Meiji Gakuin University, Tokyo

When I signed up to take Japanese my first year at UVM, I was unaware of all of the great opportunities and experiences that my Japanese studies would allow me to achieve later on and even after graduating. During my third year at UVM, I was accepted into a two-semester study abroad program at Meiji Gakuin University in Tokyo. This was a formative experience for me not only because it helped me improve my language skills through complete immersion, but it but it also enabled me to grow as an individual.

After my year abroad, I returned for my final year at UVM and began to consider various ways in which I could earn a living while using my Japanese language. I applied for many jobs and eventually I was lucky enough to accept a position at the Consulate General of Japan in Atlanta. I primarily work with the administrative section and the culture and information section, where much of my day is spent answering enquiries via phone and email, translating, and general maintenance of the Consulate’s website. I am incredibly fortunate to be working in an environment that allows me to utilize and expand upon my Japanese language skills acquired through my studies at UVM.

It has almost been a year since I started working for the consulate and I can happily say my business Japanese, specifically keigo has improved considerably. This job has also allowed me to experience and be a part of the various efforts to promote deeper mutual understanding and strengthen cultural, political, and economic ties between Japan and the five-states in our jurisdiction: Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia.


Jacob Runner
Jacob Runner '12

English Major, Japanese Minor

Teaching English at Lesson4U English Language School, Kanazawa, Japan

After completing my English degree at UVM in 2012, I accepted a teaching post at a private English language school in Ishikawa, Japan, where I’ve lived for the last two years.  I’ve enjoyed continuing to study and teach the English language to students of all ages and levels, but I’ve also appreciated having the opportunity to continue studying Japanese.  I knew from my study abroad experience at Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo during my third year of college, that despite having received a solid grounding in Japanese grammar from my time at UVM, one of the biggest frustrations for me had been simple illiteracy, that is to say, I couldn’t read enough kanji. So, when I realized I would be moving to Japan for work, I knew I had one month to sit myself down and learn/re-learn around 3,000 Chinese characters.  After moving to Japan, I continued to study by focusing on expanding my vocabulary during my free time before and after work, as well as making an active attempt to totally submerge myself in the Japanese language by making friends, reading books and of course, watching Japanese professional baseball.  It soon became my goal to pass the highest level Japanese comprehension exam, the N1 Level Japanese Language Proficiency Test. 

I’m happy to say that I was able to pass the exam at the end of last year, and that the effort has been worth it.  More than passing a proficiency test, my studies have given me the ability to read and appreciate Japanese literature, in a way I once thought impossible.  They have also however, given me the chance to create meaningful relationships with people I’ve met in Ishikawa, all of whom are proud of the fact I no longer speak standard Japanese, but have slipped into the Ishikawa dialect.  Japanese study had always been enjoyable in its own right, but along with my work teaching English as a foreign language, it has also helped me realize and explore a passion for language, literature and linguistics, that I hope to continue by enrolling in graduate level studies focused on the development and history of the English language.



Maureen Pavlik
Maureen Pavlik '14

Double Major in Japanese and Anthropology

Currently studying abroad at Toyo University, Tokyo

My Internship at Keio Academy

As a summer intern at the Keio Academy of New York, I was able to test my Japanese language skills on Japanese and American middle school students participating in a cultural exchange program. The two week long program combined cultural and language exchange with film production in various New York City locations. Working with the children showed me my ability to act as a responsible adult, a role model or older sister figure, and an open minded global learner. The most valuable knowledge I took away from the experience was a firmer grasp on my Japanese language abilities before traveling to

Japan for study abroad this year. The Keio internship allowed me to use Japanese conversationally with native Japanese speakers, a chance I hadn’t been given so forwardly before. I would highly recommend University of Vermont students planning on study abroad in Japan take interest in this internship. I not only learned about myself but I certainly made lasting friends by breeching the language and culture barrier between our two countries.

Keio Academy of NY internship opportunity:



Annalouise Stone
Annalouise Stone '12

Japanese Major and Asian Studies Minor

Study Abroad at Sophia University, Tokyo

Currently teaching English in Japan

My Experience Learning Japanese

When I first decided to study Japanese as a high school senior, I never dreamed of all the wonderful experiences it would lead to. At the time, my only thought was that if I knew Japanese, I could play Japanese video games without waiting for an English translation. Once I started however, I found learning a new language to be great fun. I transferred to UVM in 2008 specifically so I could major in Japanese. It was wonderful to study together with other students interested in Japan. In fall 2010, I went to Tokyo for my junior year abroad at Sophia University. Through the choir club, I made many new friends and was able to practice everyday conversation in Japanese. When the March 11th disasters struck northern Japan, I had to come home. Since I was supposed to be in Japan until August, I had no summer job lined up. So I ended up working at Mori no Ike, a Japanese language overnight camp for children, run by Concordia College in Minnesota. Not only was I able to maintain my Japanese skills, I learned about how to teach language to children in an immersion


Last modified August 29 2014 12:08 PM