McKenzie Forbs ’10

McKenzie Forbs

Major: East Asian Studies

I’m 25 years old and graduated in 2010. I came to Japan to be an ALT (Assistant Language Teacher) in Miyagi prefecture, the fall following graduation. I stayed for 6 months and came back in March after the Tohoku Earthquake. I’m now back in Japan teaching in Tochigi prefecture. A typical start of the day has me making up at 6AM, getting to the town’s station by bicycle (a 15 min ride), taking the local train (30 min) and then walking up an incredibly steep mountain (15 min). Usually I’ll have 2-5 classes a day where I’ll assist the main Japanese English teacher. I’ll help read flash cards or passages and sometimes instruct activities I’ve made. My last job I went to several schools, this time I only go to one (which I feel very lucky for). Often times you’ll eat with the students, and participate in school events, which gives you a chance to talk to them and you’re usually welcome to participate in club activities ranging from science clubs to art clubs to tennis (sounds like a cool way to get free kendo lessons!) Last time I was also able to find a nearby kyuudo (archery) dojo and it was awesome.McKenzie ForbsThis is a great job for anyone coming out as an East Asian Studies major and I highly recommend it. There’s nothing better than widening your cultural perspective (and language skills) than working in another country and Japan is an amazing choice.

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