The following blog is a firsthand account from our program alumni, Kiruththika Manialagan, who spent two months on our Tokyo internship program during the summer of 2019.
Before starting my CRCC Asia journey, the first thing I needed to decide on was choosing the location I wanted to intern and live in for two months. The choices were endless – I could choose from Japan, China, South Korea, Vietnam, India, and the UK. My decision was impacted by my degree; having studied International Business and learning about different cultures, I wanted to learn more about a specific culture in-depth. I thought it would be interesting to learn about Japanese culture as I only gained an insight into Japanese culture in university.
I really wanted to gain international experience and be involved in a company’s activities, and most importantly, add new skills to my CV. I really wanted to travel to Japan as it was on my travel list, and thought it would be amazing to explore Tokyo. There were many benefits to the CRCC Asia internship program and I knew the internship would be worth it – and this is how my journey began.
Soon, I completed my application to CRCC Asia. I heard about them through my university careers fair, and found out they could help me find an internship and accommodation in Tokyo. They even offer extra activities for everyone to take part in such as business events, cultural activities, and volunteering.
When I applied for the Tokyo program, the process was simple. First, an admissions advisor called me and we had a telephone interview to discuss my interest and goals for my internship program, as well as confirm my program details. I was accepted into the program soon after, and a few months before the program start date, I had video interviews with two companies. Eventually, I received an offer from a language school to take on the position of marketing intern.
In August 2019, I started my first independent journey through a transit to France, then to Seoul, and finally landing in Japan. I arrived in Haneda Airport and met my program manager, Luke, for the first time. He helped me with my luggage and showed me the way to the train station, which we used to travel to my accommodation.
Once I arrived in my accommodation neighborhood, Luke showed me around and helped me buy essential items. On the first day of work, he showed me the route to the host company, and I was able to travel on my own after that!
My host company was a well-known language school, and they also had a second business which was a website for foreigners to work and live in Japan. I was lucky enough to have the chance to work with both businesses! The language school offered Japanese lessons to foreigners through group and private lessons, and the other business’s main focus was providing foreigners more information about language schools, part time opportunities, and full-time jobs in Japan.
My host company team was really nice and really tried to find different tasks for me to do so that the internship would be fun and also related to business. I was involved in a range of tasks from writing articles to inputting figures into Microsoft Excel. The company staff were really friendly, and even helped me out with research for the articles I was tasked with writing!
My overall journey in Japan helped me better understand the culture and people of Japan. The people I met in my neighborhood were really friendly and I saw many young children travelling to and from school on their own, proving that Japan is a very safe country. Through working and also through the CRCC Asia events, I was able to meet a lot of people – from foreigners to Japanese people – and everyone was so unique.
Some Japanese people were shy but still spoke to me, and other people were more outgoing, but they were all so kind. I still have the contact information of all the friends that I met through my journey in Japan, and we keep in touch every once in a while!
I would describe my whole experience in Japan as a “great opportunity with good memories”. I was worried at first about how my experience would be, since I only knew basic Japanese. This did not stop me from enjoying myself and learning a lot through this journey. I was able to get from one location to another by train, try different foods, and also communicate with Japanese people and foreigners.
My internship in Tokyo with CRCC Asia allowed me to go out of my comfort zone and really learn about a culture, and challenge myself from the start to the end of the program. I also was able to cope in a different country where I did not know much of the language, but everything was worth it and my time in Japan will always stand out in my memory and on my CV!
I am glad I took the first step and applied to the Tokyo program with CRCC Asia. I really recommend trying out the Tokyo program – the CRCC Asia staff in Japan are really friendly and help you out a lot when you are in Japan. I guarantee that you’ll have a positive experience so come and explore Japan, you will not regret it!