Wow, I can’t believe you’re glancing through or even possibly reading my blog. Thank you! It means quite a lot to me, actually. My name is Margaret, as you probably inferred, and I work and live in Niigata City, Japan. I am employed by my local Board of Education through the Japan Exchange Teaching (JET) Program. My home away from home is the capital of Niigata Prefecture (think the capital of a state in the U.S.) Niigata is kind of in the middle of nowhere, but it’s only 2 hours away from Tokyo by bullet train and there are lots of places to shop, so I’m not complaining at all. It’s honestly great.
Prior to starting my new life in the Land of the Rising Sun, I graduated from Clemson University in December 2018, and I spent a few months struggling to make ends meet because adulting and student loans are terrifying real. If you know, you know. Fortunately, I did eventually find work, and I left home July 2019. What’s crazier is I’ve wanted this job ever since I was a high school student, and now I’m finally here. That’s a surreal feeling, let me tell you. But why Japan? Naturally, popular Japanese video games along with animated movies and TV shows fueled this early interest of mine. However, when I entered college as a mere Freshman, I discovered I had a love for the language and culture too. This lead to me studying abroad in Nagoya for a year in 2017. The experience changed my life drastically and for the better, so I knew I had to go back. It’s only been two years since then, and I can’t believe I’m already here living my dream. I’m honestly very excited to talk about the good, the bad, and everything in-between on this blog.
My work is nothing too fascinating; I am but a mere Assistant Language Teacher (ALT). I spend my days in classrooms supervised by actual teachers instructing English to first through sixth grades at five different elementary schools across my slice of the city. My job also entails exposing the kids to different cultures, educating them about my home in the good ole’ USA, and giving a lot of high fives. Seriously, sometimes my hand hurts after a class. It’s a blast, but it can also be very overwhelming moving your entire life overseas. Japanese is obviously not my native language, so miscommunication mishaps are a frequent occurrence. I’ve had lots of slip-ups navigating my work and social life while adapting to Japanese culture, but I’ve also learned more than I ever thought I could. I’ll elaborate more on this later, so please stay tuned.
Disclaimer, I had another travel blog when I studied abroad a million years ago, but I got busy with life, and frankly I was too lazy to continue posting once I returned to my regular university in the United States. However, I’m giving this whole “blogging thing” another shot, and hopefully I keep somewhat of a regular schedule this time around. But I’m warning you I am one of the worst procrastinators on the planet, so don’t get your hopes too high. Anyway, thank you so much if you’ve read this far. Your support means a lot, and I’ll do my best to get more exciting content posted soon. またね！Until next time!