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Categories

  1. Career
    1. My One and Only
    2. Interning at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo
    3. S. Takata Memorial Research Library and My Research Theme
    4. Building a Career in Japan - Don't let the Japanese people beat you in linguistic skills and cultural comprehension -
    5. 67 years after World War II
    6. What is a life plan? From the National Bar Exam to becoming a painter
    7. Job-hunting experience note -Receiving a job offer from the first-choice company is not a dream-
    8. Job-hunting experience note -Self-analysis is about "Constructing one-self"-
    9. The skill-levels of world-class top talents are extremely high. That is why, in order to compete against the world, ambition and aspiration is necessary.
    10. Japan's passport did not come falling from the skies. Fight now for the respect of the future Japanese.
    11. OECD Internship Report
    12. Settling down in Waseda
    13. Be true to yourself, boldly step forward into the things that excite you!
    14. Job Hunting experience notes
    15. In Finland, as an Artist and a Researcher
    16. Using My experiences from Waseda,
    17. Waseda:An everlasting bond
    18. Recent report from Denmark
    19. Submission from WiN member (Recent Report)
    20. Memories of Waseda
    21. My experience at Waseda
    22. My time at Waseda University
    23. Teaching Position at Korea University
  1. Event Reports
    1. C21 Tokyo Challenge
    2. Enjoying a taste of South-East Asia: Vietnamese Bánh Mì Sandwiches and Milo
    3. Looking Back on the "Go Global Japan" English Presentation Contest
    4. Student Visa Day at the American Embassy
    5. 3rd Place Finish in the "Hong Kong Cup"
    6. Students' Day at the American Embassy
    7. ASIAN STUDENTS ENVIRONMENT PLATFORM 2012: Environmental field studies by students from Japan, China, and Korea
    8. Reflections on the Universitas21 Undergraduate Research Conference 2012 Part 2: Non-academic conference learning
    9. Reflections on the Universitas21 Undergraduate Research Conference 2012 Part 1: Academic conference learning
    10. The 7th Foreigner's Traditional Japanese Dance Exhibition: Waseda University student performers' questionnaire interview
    11. [Event] Universitas 21 Undergraduate Research Conference 2012 at Waseda University - ended in a great success!
  1. Gourmet
    1. What Do You Do With a Major in Ramen?
  1. Others
    1. "Ship for South East Asian and Japanese Youth Program (SSEAYP)"
    2. Exchange Students from US Reunite at Waseda after 30 years
    3. "Like" WiN on Facebook!
    4. WiN Blog starts
  1. Sports
    1. Learning How "To Think" Through Waseda University's Track & Field
    2. Participating in the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships
    3. "Participating in the XXV Winter Universiade Games (2011/Erzurum)"
    4. My experience with Waseda's American Football Bukatsu
  1. Study Abroad
    1. Shifting Cultivation and the Challenge of Sustainability in Mopungchuket Village, India
    2. Building the TOMODACHI Generation
    3. Kakehashi Project Report
    4. The Double Degree Program at Peking University
    5. Camping and Snowshoeing in Canada
    6. An Encouragement of two-stages approach to study abroad
    7. Studying abroad in Brisbane, Australia
    8. A new kind of Study Abroad
    9. 14-Day Short term Study Abroad Program in Chowgule College, Goa - "What can I do? What can they do? What can you do?"
    10. From Tsugaru strait to the African highest peak Kilimanjaro
    11. PIANO LINE -Seattle Study Abroad Chronicles-
    12. In Finland, as an Artist and a Researcher
    13. What I learned about China through Shanghai Fudan University
    14. Why are those who've experienced study abroad programs a little different? -Full Japanese SILS student reveals the whole story of studying abroad -
    15. China, The Neighboring Country You Do Not Know ~ My Encounter at Peking University ~
    16. Study Abroad Experience Notes
    17. C'est la vie! This is life! Work hard, Play hard.
    18. Study abroad @ Taiwan
    19. Study abroad @ Beijing
  1. Study in Japan
    1. Visiting the Prime Minister's Residene
    2. IPS Summer School 2016: Culture Meets Culture
    3. The World is Smaller than We Think
    4. Waseda Summer 2016
    5. The Opportunity of a Lifetime
    6. Experiencing Village Life at Kijimadaira
    7. A Fantastic Opportunity
    8. A Rewarding Experience
    9. An Amazing Experience
    10. Take Me Wonder by Wonder
    11. I Couldn't Ask for More
    12. Another Kokusaibu Story
    13. SAKURA Exchange Program in Science
    14. I Want to Go Again!
    15. More than Good Sushi
    16. Immersive Experience into the Japanese Culture
    17. 40 Years of Memories in a Photo
    18. Experiencing Everything First Hand
    19. Waseda Summer Session wasn't like any other Summer Camp
    20. Looking Forward to the Past
    21. Weeding a Rice Paddy ~Field Trip to Niigata~
    22. Japan Study Students to Waseda: A message from the class of 1983-84
    23. Developing Medical and Welfare Robots ~The Challenges of Kabe Laboratory, Faculty of Human Sciences~
    24. Recollecting experiences of Exchange Programme at Waseda
    25. Kuroda Kazuo Interview: About Studying in Japan
  1. Volunteer Activity
    1. Taking the first step in volunteering
    2. "Volunteer experience in earthquake-hit area Natori"
    3. "The Great East Japan Earthquake Reconstruction Volunteering"
    4. How my perspective changed through volunteering
    5. Tohoku Volunteer
    6. Great East Japan Earthquake    "Fumbaro East Japan Support Project"

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Blog:Dec, 2014

Another Kokusaibu Story

Name: William J. Bettencourt
Country:
USA
Enrollment year and place at Waseda University:
International Division (Kokusaibu), 1972-73
Current Position:
Faculty of International Business, Edmonds Community College, WA

How has studying abroad at Waseda aided you in your career/academic path?

The Okuma Auditorium group photo from 1974 that Jim Mockford posted a few weeks ago* inspired me
to dig through my own relics. As a result, I can photographically push Waseda’s Kokusai-bu history
back another two years to 1972 when I was one of ten students from the California State Universities
and Colleges, specifically from Humboldt State. It was my first time to be outside of the USA, so this
third year of my undergraduate experience was predictably mind-blowing. And then, straight out of
Waseda, I got a job teaching ESL to business clients at a private British language school in Kanda.
* http://www.cie-waseda.jp/win/en/blog/20141104_02325.html
 

1972-Okuma-Kaikan.jpg

1972 Okuma Auditorium

Fast-forward a couple of years and largely because of my experiences in Japan, I changed my major
to International Relations and graduated from San Francisco State University in 1976. After another
short ESL-teaching stint in Mito, Ibaraki-ken, I was offered a position as a technical documentation
specialist in the Chemical Equipment Division of Kobe Steel, Ltd. A leave of absence a few years later
allowed me to return to the US to get my MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management in
1980. This is when my Waseda sweetheart (野村ゆかり、1975年文学部英文学科卒 ) and I got married,
and we moved to Kobe so I could start a new position as a trainer in Kobe Steel’s Construction
Machinery Institute.

1980Wedding.jpg

1980 Wedding
 

Kobe-Steel-Office.jpg

 Kobe Steel Office

In 1984, after the birth of our first child, we relocated permanently to Seattle where I took a job with
the Washington State Department of Trade & Economic Development as a Pacific Trade Specialist.
In 1988, I started a one-year gig with Edmonds Community College to develop their International
Business and Studies Department. Things got out of hand though, and I expect I’ll retire from
Edmonds CC in a few years.

In summary, from 1972 until 1984, I accumulated nine and a half years of residence in Japan that
included studying, employment and getting married. Yukari and I have since raised a pair of bilingual
daughters and welcomed our first grandchild in February of this year. I now receive a modest Japanese
pension based upon having paid into the 厚生年金 system for a total of 90 months. So, I think it is safe
to say that my year of studying at Waseda University absolutely aided my career/academic path.

Most memorable event at Waseda?
The December 1972 university-organized tour of the Kansai area was amazing. I was a complete
neophyte to all things Japanese, so after having spent just a few months studying arts, history and
culture, to then be standing in the genuine places and looking at the objects themselves was quite a
profound experience. It was also fun to share staying in ryokan with the rest of the Kokusai-bu group.
Our self-organized commemorative photo shows us all solemnly posed on the tatami in yukata – each
holding a Mr. Donut.

Message to WiN members:
Sometime around 2000, perhaps as it finally dawned on me that I was probably on the second half
of my life story, I started fictionalizing my Japanese experiences into a novel that I self-published in
2008. I created a character very similar to myself, a central California farm boy, who sort of blunders
into the Cal-State Study Abroad program at Waseda University. Then, to his own amazement and with
the assistance of his host family and friends both Japanese and American, my literary avatar proceeds
to get more deeply involved in Japan than anyone ever could have imagined.

The novel is Seagulls Astray (Maigo No Kamome)
Trafford Publishing; ISBN 978-1-4251-5978-8; Kindle ASIN: B00AABEF9G.
 

Seagullscover.jpg


The marketing blurb reads:
     This novel examines how young people make the transition from university student to career
starter. Who will have an easier time of it; a displaced California farm boy at loose ends in Japan,
or a Tokyo coed tightly surrounded by family?
      Having concluded his unlikely undergraduate degree in Sociology from Chico State University
with a final year at Tokyo’s Waseda University, Russell Goulart finds that employment opportunities
are available in Tokyo, but he is often confounded by the cultural and legal intricacies of living and
working in Japan. In contrast to him, Kaori Sasazuka was born and raised in Tokyo, but she is just
as profoundly challenged by being an ambitious female in a society that is undergoing radical
adjustments to its own gender-based expectations.
     As Russ and Kaori look for career opportunities, they both conform to and rebel against the
demands of the red-hot 1970's Tokyo business establishment, and they both feel like storm tossed
seagulls to the point where it is difficult to know which one has wandered more astray.
      Through its two main characters and their contemporaries, this novel offers an intimate portrayal
of life in Japan during the 1970’s.


The above might appear to be a shameless effort to get you to buy my book. I hope you do, but as
anyone who has self-published a novel discovers, it’s best to hang on to your day job.
 

DSCN0509.jpg

Family photo taken in November, 2014. Bill in center in the back row.
 

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