Aimee Miller, a graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in Communication, recently returned from spending two-years in Nagoya, Japan. Anyone moving to a foreign country faces many different challenges, one of which is usually a language barrier. Aimee said, “I learned how to communicate without words, or even with just a few words.” She learned many non-verbal principles and says she is, “glad for this experience because whenever we discuss non-verbal concepts in class, I immediately understand.” Her job abroad was teaching English as a second language to adults and children and during that time she learned many different teaching skills, including the importance of simplifying things for students so they can grasp concepts quicker. As a CMU teaching assistant, she uses that same skill to simplify the concepts for her current students.
Aside from the educational benefits she gained and brought back with her, she also learned about community. Aimee admits, “I’d never understood what ‘networking’ was until I moved to Japan because there was a robust expat community there and we all had to help each other out.” Aimee learned that people enjoy helping others out, and it makes themselves feel good too. Knowing that now, she is not as shy to ask for help and she found her time abroad as beneficial personally as it was professionally.