Help the English Language Institute to Bring Students from Japan!

The College of Charleston English Language Institute (ELI) hosted a professor, Kayoko Takegoshi, from Japan’s Toyama University during the fall of 2014. She met our students and faculty, attended our ESL classes, toured the campus and city, and returned to her home university to arrange a “CofC ELI short term program” for her sophomore students. She anticipates that 4-5 students will be interested in attending the English Language Institute from August 24 – September 25, 2015. This is a summer break for Toyama University students, so it is the only opportunity for them to study abroad. As student housing is at a premium, especially at the beginning of the academic year, it’s not possible to lodge these students in the CofC dorm.

 

Therefore, the CofC ELI program has launched a homestay program and is in the early stages of recruiting individuals, couples and families who would be interested in hosting a Japanese student for 5 weeks. For families with young children, this can be a life altering experience as children of all ages benefit from interacting with people from other cultures, and through this process, learn tolerance and other essential qualities of becoming global citizens.

 

These students are university sophomores and are independent adults. Ideally, the homes would be within walking or biking distance from the CofC campus so they could come and go on their own. Students attend ELI classes M-F from 8am-3pm, depending on the day, so they would purchase a meal plan to cover breakfasts and lunches. Dinner would be prepared at home. Host families would be adequately compensated for hosting a student, and would be expected to include the student on any appropriate family excursions during the weekends. As English language acquisition is a primary goal of the students, involving them in English conversation in the family setting would be strongly encouraged.

 

If you are interested in learning more about the CofC homestay program, please contact Alice Hamilton at hamiltonam1@cofc.edu by April 20, 2015.

Chinese New Year 2015: Year of the Sheep

This story has been republished from the College Today article.

Originally publised: 17 February 2015 | 1:26 pm
by: Ron Menchaca
Contact: Weishen Wang, professor and chair, Department of Finance, 843.953.0887

Chinese New Year begins Feb. 19, 2015. Originally based on the Chinese lunar-solar calendar, the holiday is celebrated in many Asian countries over several days.

chinese new year

The holiday, also known as Spring Festival, is traditionally celebrated by families coming together to renew ties.

Each Chinese New Year is assigned to one of 12 zodiacal animals, with 2015 being the Year of the Sheep.

“It is a great family time, similar to Christmas here in the USA,” says Weishen Wang, professor and chair of the Department of Finance in the School of Business. “We will have great food, in particular, dumplings, and performance. Usually people put on new and beautiful clothes. Grown-ups give kids lucky money.”

Millions of people will travel from major Chinese cities to celebrate the holiday with their families.

LINK: View a heat map showing the massive amount of travel that occurs during Chinese New Year.

chinese new year

As president for the Chinese Association in Greater Charleston, Wang is helping to organize the association’s Spring Festival. The event takes place Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015, from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the James Island Community Education Center, 1000 Fort Johnson Rd., Charleston.

The event will feature traditional Chinese music, dances and singing followed with a banquet of delicious Chinese foods, door prizes and more. For more information and to pre-register for the event, visit http://www.cagcsc.org/springfestival.html

Association members receive free admission. Admission for non-members is $15, students – $10, children ages 6-12 – $5, children 5 and under – free.

EXPLORE: Study the Chinese language at the College.

 

 

Forgetting a language: Why it happens and how to avoid it

Forgotten languages, and understanding why

In my travels and lifestyle, the reason I learn a language is simple: to immediately use it with locals and enhance my cultural experiences. This is not quite the same as many people, who choose their one language to learn based on a long-term investment. A polyglot has many languages to deal with, and this changes things significantly compared to someone with a one-language priority.

What this means is at the end of my two- to three-month projects to intensively learn a language for an upcoming trip, I face a crossroad: Should I maintain this language or not? Some people may take a “not” choice completely out of context and feel like the whole experience was worthless.

Every language I have learned has enhanced my travels in ways I can’t begin to express. Saying that any one of them was a waste of time ignores the cultural experience that was my priority all along. I’m not passionate about languages, I’m passionate about using them.

Maintaining them as described below is so much work that if that passion doesn’t spark a lifelong interest in the language, then I simply will not prioritise it — as a polyglot, I have quite a lot of languages to juggle! This is obviously not the same situation for someone who has learned one foreign language over an extended period of study.

A consequence of this is that as much experience as I have in learning and speaking languages — seven of which I can now say I speak fluently — I have plenty of experience too in forgetting languages.

I have learned Hungarian, Czech, Catalan, and Tagalog and could converse and socialise in all of them at various levels. But now I can’t. Nowadays, I’d never even list them as languages I can get by in to be honest. But I don’t apologise for this or lose sleep over it. I knew it was going to happen.

So what did I do differently with my successfully maintained seven languages compared to those listed above?

Consistent practice

The “secret” (no surprise) is simply consistently using the language so it is always fresh in your mind.

Of course you can come up with lazy excuses why this is not possible, but the truth is you can always find ways to use those languages. Find natives to meet in person via social networks, use certain sites to find people to talk to by Skype, be friendlier with tourists, join clubs and actively monitor your social circle and environment for opportunities to use the language. All of these are ways you can speak your language immediately.

To maintain other aspects (reading, writing, listening, etc.), the best way is by doing them. Listen to podcasts in the target language, read blogs or online news or an entire book in that language, keep in touch with your foreign friends by chatting to them on Facebook or writing them emails; but do this every day.

The language will deteriorate in your mind if you don’t keep it active. Having learned it “once” does not mean you now own it forever; use it or lose it!

Speed of learning

As far as I can tell, there’s only one major disadvantage to my rapid learning strategy: The quicker you learn it, the quicker you’ll forget it. This may sound bad, but it’s way better than the alternative of learning so slowly you have nothing to show for it, ever.

If you dive intensively into your language learning project, and reach high conversational level or fluency after a few months, you have to be sure you’re consistently maintaining it until it is a permanent part of you. I found with the languages listed above that within just a few months, I lost the vast majority of my ability to communicate in them — I forgot as quickly as I learned.

So if you learned your language over years (actually using it, not simply being present in a classroom for something that could only laughably be called “years”), you’ll be much less likely to forget it as quickly. Spanish is the language I’ve put the most time into, for example, and I’m confident that I could cut myself off from the language entirely for a year and get back into it no problem. I’ve spoken and lived through Spanish so much that it’s burned into me.

But the point is I wouldn’t cut myself off from Spanish. Why would I do that? If you genuinely want to speak a language for life, it will always be there for you to use. Even with seven or more languages competing for time with me, I will always give the important ones the time they deserve (what makes a language important depends on you, not some economic, etc., criteria or what someone else says).

Even though I’m certainly aware of the danger of forgetting a language quicker due to learning it quicker, I still think this hardly counts as a “disadvantage.” You’ll only forget it if you aren’t using it. This is true whether you learned it quickly or slowly, only the speed of deterioration is different. After I had learned the other languages on my list quickly and intensively, I kept up the good work of consistently using them and will never forget them because of that.

Passion and the why

The main reason I’ll never forget my current languages and certain future ones I take on, while I will forget others, is because I’m passionate about the former beyond a fixed point in time when they served the purpose of cultural immersion. That one thing, the why that sparked a flame inside me during my experience in the country, means I will never let it go.

If you don’t want to ever forget a given language, don’t ever let it go. Make it an important part of your life; reading books and keeping in touch with friends is never a chore, but something that would leave a huge hole in your life if taken away.

This article originally appeared on Fluent in 3 Months and is reprinted here with permission.

10 EXTRAORDINARILY USEFUL JAPANESE PHRASES FOR TRAVELERS (From Matador Network)

http://matadornetwork.com/abroad/10-extraordinarily-useful-japanese-phrases-for-travelers/

Going to Japan? Here are some Japanese phrases to memorize on the plane.

SOME OF THESE JAPANESE PHRASES are practical. Some of them are funny. All 10 will greatly enhance your trip to Japan.

Note that all of the phrases are pretty informal, especially the one about crapping your pants. Also, I spell the phrases phonetically in the header, but spell them with the most common romanization of the Japanese characters when explaining a point.

Confused already? Don’t worry about it.

1. “Yo-ro-sh-ku o-neh-gai-shi-mus.”

This phrase is absolute magic. Say “yoroshiku” to any Japanese person in any situation and they will help you with anything and everything you need. It’s impossible to translate literally, but means something to the effect of, “Please do your best and treat me well.”

If you memorize nothing else before going to Japan, remember “yoroshiku” and you’re totally set. “Onegaishimasu” is a common word that means something similar to “please.”

2. “Yosh. Gahn-bah-di-mus.”

This phrase means something like, “OK, I’m going for it,” or “I’ll do my best.” A Japanese would say “Ganbarimasu” before taking a test or leaving the house for a job interview.

Japanese people will crack up if you say it before walking outside, eating noodles, or using a vending machine. Try saying it before using phrase #8.

3. “Ara! Onara suru tsu-mori datta keh-do, un-chi ga de-chatta.”

The literal translation of this useful phrase is, “Oops! I meant to fart but poop came out.”

Saying this never gets old, especially in public places, especially on a first date, and most especially if it’s clearly one of only 10 Japanese phrases that you’ve memorized.

When in Southeast Asia, I especially enjoy muttering in Japanese about crapping my pants while walking past Japanese tourists. The reactions are priceless.

4. “Mo da-meh. Yoh-para-chatta. Go-men.”

At some point during your stay, Japanese people will probably try to make you drink past your limit. That’s when this phrase comes in handy. It means something like, “No more, I’m already drunk, sorry.”

5. “Ko-ko wa do-ko? Wa-ta-shi wa da-reh? Na-ni mo wah-kah-nai.”

Where is this? Who am I? I don’t understand anything. This is what you say after failing to use phrase #4 in time.

6. “Ee-show ni kah-rah-o-keh ni ee-koh ka?”

Shall we go to karaoke together? This is a good line to use if trying to pick someone up from the bar. Think of karaoke as a transition point between the bar and the love hotel.

Note: Please don’t pronounce “karaoke” with lots of EEE sounds. It should sound like “kah-rah-o-keh,” not “carry-oh-key.”

7. “Hon-toe ni oh-ee-shee des yo!”

Use this one when eating. It means something like, “For real, it’s delicious!”

“Hontou ni” means “for real” or “really” or “I’m not kidding.” Japanese people are always telling sweet little white lies, so dropping a “hontou ni” from time to time is very much appreciated.

8. “Ah-nah-tah wa ha-ruh no ee-chee ban no sah-ku-rah yo-ree u-tsu-ku-shee.”

This classic Japanese pickup line means, “You’re more beautiful than the first cherry blossom of spring.”

9. “Ni-hon dai-skee.”

Japan is the best. I love Japan. When in doubt, just smile, nod, and repeat.

10. “Koh-nah ni kee-ray na to-ko-ro wa hah-jee-meh-teh mee-tah!”

Japanese people love it when you gush about their country. This phrase means, “I’ve never seen a place so beautiful before.” Bust it out at famous attractions and you’ll meet with instant approval. 

This post was originally published on May 25, 2009.

Study Abroad Fair for Affiliate Programs: September 25

Passport Services* Affiliate Programs Fair

September 25th, 10:00 am—2:00 pm in the Cougar Mall

*Representatives from the Charleston Passport Center will be accepting passport applications (new and renewal) during the Affiliate Programs Study Abroad Fair (see attached on details). This service is open to the public!

2015 Study Abroad Fair Flyer

I Want Your Job: Manager for Ducati China

TJ Kremlick ’00 (left)

TJ Kremlick ’00 has lived all over the world immersed in motorbike racing culture. Right now, he’s managing all of China’s service departments for Ducati, one of the world’s top motorcycle brands. Despite the glamour of teaching riders at the racetrack or flying to Italy to visit factories, he says he really misses a good plate of nachos.

 

 

Q: What is your title and how would you describe your job?

A: I am the after-sales manager for Ducati China. I would like to say that it’s all fast motorcycles and supermodels, but it isn’t quite. In a sentence, I am responsible for the general management of all Ducati service departments across China. This can mean many things: one week I am in Shanghai leading a dealer-network technical training session, the next I’m in Macau rebuilding a superbike engine. One week I am at the racetrack working as a riding instructor, the next I am in Italy or Thailand visiting our factories or meeting with subsidiary leaders.


Q: How were you able to turn your passion into a career?

A: I wasn’t able to study abroad while in school, so after I graduated I decided to wander around Europe for a few months, which turned into a few years. I was obsessed with bikes in college, but in Europe I fell in love with motorcycle racing. I couldn’t get enough of it, still can’t, and knew I had to steer my life and career towards racing and motorbikes in some way.

Someone very wise once told me that you have to specialize in something. So l listened, I sold what little I had and took off on a month-long ride from the Carolinas across the U.S., ending my ride in Phoenix to attend a school for automotive and motorcycle technology.

I after I finished my certifications, I was willing to do almost any job just to get a start in the industry. I felt if I could just wiggle my way in, I could make other opportunities. With persistence, I landed a job at a dealership in Phoenix, and happily started at the bottom.


Q: How did you get into Ducati?

A: I stayed involved in the local racing scene and continued sending my resume out, targeting headquarter positions with a specific focus on Ducati. To work for that Italian company, steeped in racing tradition, was a long-time dream. And eventually, miraculously, I received a phone call inviting me to interview at their North American headquarters in Cupertino, California, for a position in the technical department, which I somehow managed to get.

I spent four superb years with Ducati North America, and three seasons racing for a North California club. Eventually though, I got that wanderlust again. I was interested in exploring (amongst other things) the motorbike industry in Asia – specifically China – and was asked to write a few articles on local motorbike culture for the excellent Italian website Motociclisti.it. While in Shanghai, a meeting was arranged with the (then) CEO of Ducati Asia Pacific. We ended up discussing a few job options in Asia including the position in New Delhi, which I settled on.

 


TJ Kremlick 2Q: What was it like moving to (and living in) India and China?

A: No amount of research or previous traveling experience could have possibly prepared me for those first few months in India. There were times during those first days where absolutely nothing made sense and I wondered what I had gotten myself into. Looking back however, those early professional and personal challenges gave me an edge and a perspective that has proven invaluable in my life and career since.

Life in China naturally has its own challenges. I am far from my family and the familiar. My staff is Chinese, so I must work extremely hard on my language skills. There are nights I would commit crimes for a decent plate of nachos, after being served something “exotic” like duck intestines or pig’s brain. And of course I could complain about the terrible air quality. But when I am able to string together a few sentences in Chinese to my taxi driver, or I can teach a team of mechanics how to time an engine, perhaps doing so in a city I had never heard of until a week before going, I must say it is extremely satisfying.


Q: What do you love about your job?

A: Because our brand is still relatively new to China and Asia, we spend a lot of time creating processes and best practices for our service departments. In these developing markets, we have the opportunity to build from the grassroots level, breathing life into a project and nurturing it into something that can sustain itself. To be fortunate enough to do this for a company with such a strong brand image, I think would be satisfying for almost any professional.


Q: What role does your psychology major play in your career?

A: I studied psychology because I have always been interested in understanding the way people think and interact with each other, what motivates us, how our culture shapes our behavior and vice-versa. Developing the mindset to think critically about these things has most definitely helped me in everyday life. Further, my bachelor’s degree is in science, which lends itself well to the often technical nature of my work.


Q: What advice would you offer current students?

A: Enjoy where you are! Charleston remains one of my favorite cities in the world. I would probably do just about anything to be sipping on a La Hacienda margarita after a day at the beach, so please, as a favor to the rest of us, enjoy the present.

For those about to finish school, take some time to explore your world and understand what you want from it. I felt a lot of pressure to immediately start producing as soon as I graduated, but I think it takes time and introspection to understand what you are passionate about doing, and further, how to make a career out it. If you do something that has meaning for you, you will get the strongest performance from yourself.

 

From: http://today.cofc.edu/2014/06/25/want-job-27-manager-ducati-china/

 

I Want Your Job: Sr Manager of Operations at David Yurman Thailand

Lucy Lesniak ’10 followed her instincts from Lancashire, England to the College of Charleston, then New York, N.Y. and finally, for now, to Bangkok, Thailand.

She trusted those instincts when she decided to double major in business administration and hospitality and tourism management instead of studio art as she’d planned, and when she decided to join the Schottland Scholar Program while also working full-time during her senior year at the College.

Now, after moving up the ranks through four positions at fine jewelry designer David Yurman, Lesniak’s instincts have led her to become senior manager of operations at the new David Yurman corporate location in Bangkok.

Lesniak welcomes current students to reach out to her for advice. Email haashe@cofc.edu with a message to be forwarded.


Q: What do you do as senior manager of operations?lesniak

A: I work in the back-end of the company, on the corporate side. Basically my job begins after the design team, headed by David, Sybil and Evan Yurman, come up with designs for a new collection. Then the design goes to the engineering, project development and procurement teams, which will turn the design into something that can be manufactured. The engineers will develop components like clasps and hinges while the procurement team will buy the diamonds and gemstones, everything that goes into making jewelry. I oversee the office operations supporting that process in Thailand.

 

As this is a new office, though, I’ve been doing everything from recruiting, interviewing and hiring for the office to managing the office construction, building a benefits package comparable to those of other Thai businesses, establishing relationships with payroll, accounting, banking, customs, and legal firms, leasing a company car, building and managing the budget, ensuring invoices and office rent gets paid, training employees and attending to their needs. Each day is vastly different from the last.

RELATED: Learn more about the business administration and hospitality and tourism management majors in the School of Business

Q: What is it like doing all those things in a country with a language barrier?

A: The culture and language barrier make day-to-day processes quite challenging here. For instance, Thailand is exceptionally document intensive, so something that might take half an hour in the U.S., like preparing social security paperwork for a new employee, will take three hours here because of all the documents required.

Establishing the office here is similar to what I imagine starting a business would be like. There is no typical day, I’m often working until 11 p.m. or later. There are a lot of responsibilities and while there are challenges, I love it here. I can imagine spending the next few years here in Southeast Asia.

 


Q: What is the best part of your job?

A: The opportunity to travel. Being in Thailand is amazing, and David Yurman has offices in Hong Kong, New York and Switzerland; next month I’ll head to Hong Kong.

I think the travel part is pretty awesome, but I also love being a part of a family-run company that’s based on design. David Yurman is a sculptor by training and his wife, Sybil, is an artist, so we always say our job is to make their designs come to life. It’s always interesting.

 


Q: How did you get started at David Yurman?

A: I moved to New York in fall of 2011 and applied for a receptionist position at David Yurman. I had worked at Louis Vuitton in Charleston, and had gone from a sales associate to accessories specialist and then customer relationship management specialist, so I was hesitant to take a job as a receptionist after that.

I did decide to take the job, and about six months later I was promoted to executive assistant, and then a year after that I became a product development and procurement project manager. All in all I’ve been with the company for almost three years, and here in Thailand for a little over a month.

 


Q: How did you hear about the receptionist position and what was the interview process like?

A: A friend of mine in New York put me in touch with a recruiter. The best way to find jobs in New York is via recruiters, there are good ones and bad ones and I was fortunate enough to work with a good one. The recruiter encouraged me to interview for the receptionist position, despite my hesitance. The interview process was very simple: I went in for a standard interview and was offered the job very quickly thereafter.

 


Q: What does the next year hold in store for you?

A: I signed a two-year contract here, so I’ll be in Thailand for two more years. I look forward to growing with the role – by the end of this year we’ll have 12 employees in the office and by the end of next year we’ll have 20, so growing my role with the office will be tremendous for me. I imagine the role and scope will change a lot between now and the end of 2015.

 


Q: How did your time at the College help you prepare for your positions at David Yurman?

A: My concentration in business administration was leadership, change and social responsibility; I believe that helped enable me to assume a leadership role, take initiative and advance quite quickly in my career thus far. In addition, being a double major, working part- and then full-time for Louis Vuitton and becoming a Schottland Scholar forced me to become very organized and learn to manage my time effectively.

The Schottland Scholar program also gave me great hands-on experience. I felt like it provided real-life insight into the world of business by allowing us to speak with people who are in the field. It’s very different than being in a classroom.

Finally, participating in a liberal arts school where the curricula are very broad helped me to be able to handle diverse tasks.


 RELATED: Check out the Schottland Scholar Program


Q: What advice would you give to current students interested in working for an international brand, or in a foreign country?

A: I took a lot of big risks. For example, I decided on a Tuesday that I wanted to move to New York, packed my belongings on Wednesday and drove to the City on Thursday. In December last year, David Yurman asked if I would move to Thailand, when I said yes they gave me a month to pack up my life and move.

Of course setting goals for yourself is immensely important, but I think it’s just as vital to be flexible with your planning and goals – have an outline for where you want to be and what you want your life to look like, but be open minded. Then, you will be able to take opportunities that present themselves.

For those interested in international business, I absolutely recommend studying abroad. David Yurman knew I was from England but had gone to school in the States and moved to New York, so they knew I had international experience. I think that made them feel more at ease sending me to Thailand. If you’re interested in working abroad after college, consider doing an extended study abroad, or see if you can get an international summer job. Your company will feel more confident in your ability to adapt and to not feel culture shock knowing you have that experience.

From: http://today.cofc.edu/2014/04/23/want-job-18-sr-manager-operations-david-yurman/