Internships or co-ops can improve English learning and add to your resume and build your skills. A recent student who went through our program, Sumire, is an English major from Japan. Sumire also completed some English studies in Vancouver so her English skills were pretty good. But Sumire had the goal of improving her English communication in a real world experience and also her dream was to help other international students like herself.
Sumire’s motivation and goals made her an ideal candidate for one of the language schools in Vancouver who were looking for an intern to assist with their student services department. Sumire joined our preparation workshops for internship in October 2014 and was successful at her interview.
Her responsibilities include a variety of administrative tasks such as orienting new students on their first day of school, organizing all their required documents and maintaining the files and providing support to students as well as answering their questions. Additionally, she supports the front office staff as required with various tasks in administration, homestay payroll, managing documentation, and reception duties.
We met with Sumire during her internship and also asked her a few questions about her experience which we hope will help some of our other international students.
Tell us about your background in Japan and what your experience and education is.
I am a senior university student majoring in English. My studies focus mainly on cross-cultural communication. I studied abroad in the United States for 9 months during my sophomore year, and took psychology, management, and public speaking classes.
Why did you want to do an internship in Canada/what made you choose Canada?
I wanted to do an internship to experience what it is like to work in an English speaking environment. Since I have studied English for a long time, I thought it is time to make use of my English skills. I chose Canada because it’s one of the English speaking countries that I haven’t been before.
How is the internship helping you in your goal of working with student support/international students?
The internship is helping me communicate with international students and support them whenever they need any help. I work at the front desk so I get to see many students. When I first started the internship, I was learning a lot of new things so I could not pay full attention to the students, but now I talk to them actively and try to get to know them well.
What are some differences you notice between Japan and Canada in workplace?
In one of our staff meetings, I realized that my co-workers do not hesitate to express their own opinions. In Japan, not everyone comes up with an idea during meetings. I think that is the only difference I noticed so far.
Words of advice that you might have for other students wanting to do internship in Vancouver.
From what I experienced so far, I think Vancouver is a wonderful place to spend time doing an internship. I personally enjoy living in Vancouver. It’s a great place to meet new people and experience something new. I will strongly recommend that be fully prepared before you come to Vancouver. And it is important to improve your English skills as much as possible so you will have more options when it comes to looking for an internship or any jobs in general.
We support international students from many countries with different educational and work backgrounds.
If you would like our support to find the best internship or co-op experience for you, you can meet us for a complimentary 1:1 consultation or make a skype appointment with us as well. Fill out the form below and one of our consultants will contact you to set up a meeting.