Modern Languages

Photo of Justin Garavel
Photo of Justin Garavel

Justin Garavel

Why did you decide to become a Japanese minor?

My interest in Japan didn’t start until my freshman year. When picking a language I decided to pick the one I found to be the more distinctly different from anything I had studied before. I took it for the required amount of time, then was given the opportunity to go on the TGU exchange program at the end of my second year. The connections in the country made me want to further my studies. I was deeply touched by this period in my life. It was transformational. From then, having Tanaka-sensei as a teacher my Junior year solidified my interest in the language also. She made learning enjoyable, and took the ‘work’ out of it. I looked forward to class each day. I can emphasize this part enough. Before Tanaka-sensei, I was working hard to study language as a means to communicate, but with her it transformed into a hobby and love of mine.


What has been your most rewarding experience in your Japanese minor?

The most rewarding experience is being able to help and encourage others. Japan club was one outlet for this. I enjoyed helping others with questions about study abroad, translation, cultural differences, etc.


What are your plans after Ursinus? 

I’ve been living in Japan since January 2012. Soon that will be 3 years. At first I enrolled in a Japanese intensive language school until I could get my Japanese to a good level for job hunting. Now, I’m a bilingual IT engineer(help desk, system administration) where I get to use my Japanese everyday. I have no plans to leave Japan, although I may pursue graduate school or another job soon!


Computer Science & East Asian Studies