This semester, we are welcoming two English Education students as Teaching Assistants from the Global Gateway for Teachers program in the School of Education in Indiana University. Based on an agreement between the Fukuyama University Education Center and the Board of Trustees in Indiana University in the U.S., we have welcomed many student teachers in the past. Ashley Trotta and Zachary Belcaster will be assisting English classes with Associate Professor Lowes and Assistant Professor Driussi’s advice for 8 weeks. They arrived in the exciting first week of school, when the cherry blossoms were falling. Already they are beginning to teach students in the classroom and in extracurricular activities on campus. Next, I will tell you about the interview with them.

今学期は、インディアナ大学教育学部のGlobal Gateway for Teachersプログラムより、英語教育専攻の学生2名をTAとして迎えています。福山大学の大学教育センターと米国インディアナ大学理事会との協定に基づき、これまでにも多くの実習生を受け入れてきました。Ashley Trotta 「アシュリー・トロッタ」さんZachary Belcaster 「ザッカリー(ザック)・ベルカスター」君は8週間、ローズ准教授とドリューシー助教の指導を受けながら英語の授業をアシストすることになりました。二人は、桜が散るころ、ワクワクするような新学期第1週目に到着しました。すでに、教室や学内の課外活動で学生を指導し始めています。次に、彼らに対して行ったインタビューについてお話しします。


First question: where are you from?


Ashley: I’m from Fort Myers, Florida. It’s about two hours north of Miami. It’s a very popular Spring break and summer destination. However, it was hit by a hurricane last year so it’s still in recovery.


Zach: I am from Northwest Indiana, about 40 minutes southeast of Chicago. The area I’m from is also called the tri-town area, since it is almost impossible to tell where one town ends and the next begins.



What are your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?


Ashley: I play the violin. I’m also a dancer (although I haven’t danced since COVID happened). I also really enjoy reading and writing. I have been working on a novel in my spare time.


Zach: In my free time, I like to play video games with friends. I also am a huge reader, reading during any time I can spare throughout the day. During the winter, I love to ski and would one day like to learn how to snowboard.





The Indiana University Global Gateway for Teachers program has many host countries. Why did you choose a student teaching placement in Japan?

(質問)インディアナ大学のGlobal Gateway for Teachersプログラムには、多くの受け入れ国があります。なぜ日本での学生実習を選んだのですか?

Ashley: I originally was interested in coming to Japan because I got into Japanese music and anime. But after being in University myself, I realized how safe Japan was compared to America, and being a female traveling by myself I felt like it was one of the better options. I also really enjoy the food and the nature, both of which we don’t have much of in America.


Zach: I first became interested in Japan through the pop culture, particularly an anime my friend showed me when I was in the 7th grade. Eventually, I came to find that I enjoyed Japanese food as well. When I got to college, I was very interested in how education is conducted internationally, and with Japanese education it just seemed so different to what I was used to in an American classroom. That gave me the final push of motivation to come to Japan.



What are your goals for the future?


Ashley: As for my goals for the future, I don’t really know yet what I want to do. I originally wanted to teach English abroad, but after my student teaching in America I really fell in love with middle school in America (even though I wanted to teach high schoolers originally). I’m using this experience in Japan to decide whether I want to continue with my original plan or stay in America to teach.


Zach: I don’t have any hard-set goals for my future. I want to have a job that I enjoy and a family to enjoy life with. Coming to Japan and working alongside people at Fukuyama University, however, has inspired me to think about pursuing my Master’s degree in Japan. I never thought that I’d enjoy teaching at a university, but I was wrong.





What are your impressions of Fukuyama / Fukuyama University / Japan so far? 


Ashley: I really love all of them. I was expecting to be a lot more homesick than I currently am. Everyone has been so nice to me so far and has even gone out of their way to help me with whatever it is I may need help with. Not to mention how beautiful it is here, as well as how safe I feel being here compared to America.


Zach: My first impressions of Japan was that it was more normal than I thought. Before I arrived, I was a bit anxious about being in a foreign country that seemed so different from America. But upon my arrival, everything didn’t seem as scary as before. Things seemed similar but different to home. As for Fukuyama University and Fukuyama, I have loved my time here so far. Everyone has been so welcoming and kind to me, making me feel like I’m part of a group. I was nervous about making friends in Japan, but, like before, I was wrong.



Any final messages for students and faculty?


Ashley: Thank you all for the help and support because so many people have helped us when we don’t know something or can’t read Japanese kanji. If you see me on campus, please say hi!


(Zach) I am looking forward to getting to meet everyone. Yoroshiku onegaishimasu!



学長から一言:インディアナ大学との正式の協定に基づき、本学で英語教育のTAとして実習するために来日したアシュリーさんとザッカリー(通称ザック)君、福山大学へようこそ! 将来教壇に立つ上で、異文化の中で暮らし、教えた経験はきっと大いに役立つことでしょう。8週間の限られた時間ですが、何でも吸収し、友人・知人を多く作って下さい。成果報告を待っています。