Abby Smith ’13

East Asian Studies major, Japanese minor

When I entered Lewis & Clark as a freshman in 2009, I had just a year of audited Japanese under my belt, and a lot of excitement for the Japanese program here. Outside of Japanese classes, Lewis & Clark also has a large population of Japanese exchange students, with whom I roomed for all my years at LC, and from whom I learned more than I can say.

After a summer on the Middlebury Intensive Language Program (at Monterey Institute of International Studies), I set off for Lewis & Clark’s year-long study abroad program at Kansai Gaidai University in Osaka, Japan. I left Japan only reluctantly, and determined to return. This past winter, I took the once-a-year Japanese Language Proficiency Test, and was able to pass the N2 Level. I was given incredible support in this with a JLPT-focused independent study led by Bruce Suttmeier. I also cannot stress enough the advice and support he gave me while I was applying for a position on JET program—which I will begin in the fall this year—hopefully the beginning of a long career path in Japan. Without Lewis & Clark and its incredible faculty, classes, and thriving international community, I may never have started down this path. I am so glad I did.