Erica Fultz ’08 was a foreign languages major who stepped out of Hamilton College and into a job teaching English at AEON, one of Japan’s major eikaiwa or English conversation schools.
“My knowledge of foreign languages helped me in both my daily life in Tokyo as well as my work life. Not only was I able to easily communicate with Japanese people, but I was able to place myself in the shoes of my students and become a very effective teacher,” says Fultz, who is now a curriculum developer at AEON.
She picked Hamilton because its open curriculum enabled her to take all the language courses she wanted: Japanese, Spanish, French and German. Fultz studied in Kyoto for a semester and, on campus, earned two College Emerson Foundation grants, one with Kyoko Omori, associate professor of Japanese, to translate a short story from Japanese to English, and the other to study Japanese verbal nouns.
“The study of foreign languages,” says Fultz, “is really the study of communication – learning new points of view about the world and how to share your view with others. Learning a foreign language takes passion, but if you put in the time and effort, it will pay off more than you’d ever imagine.”