Josh Kaplan ’13

East Asian Studies major, Japanese minor

I originally intended to major in English and Computer Science at Lewis & Clark, but I instantly fell in love with the Japanese language my freshman year. I soon became an East Asian Studies major, which let me study Chinese and Japanese culture in a multi-disciplinary way, through history, literature, religious studies, and sociology and anthropology. After my sophomore year, I attended Middlebury College’s excellent summer intensive language program, where I learned the equivalent of one-year of college Japanese in two short months without speaking English. Shortly after the program, I started a year-long study abroad program at Kansai Gaidai University in Osaka, Japan. During my winter break in Japan, I volunteered at a youth hostel in Nagasaki for a month in exchange for a free stay and occasional food and drink.

Coming back to Lewis & Clark for my senior year, I started working as a student intern at the Office of Overseas and Off-Campus Programs. I also worked with Professor Suttmeier to design guided-study classes for Business Japanese and Preparation for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test. I passed N2 last year and plan to take N1 soon. I was accepted into the JET Program as a Coordinator of International Relations (CIR), in which I will live in Japan providing support for foreign nationals, organizing intercultural events, and promoting the local prefecture.. I hope to use my experience in Japan and America and my senior thesis —about anti-nuclear activist movements in the wake of Fukushima— in order to get into a competitive graduate school program, eventually working in international business or education.