Japan-Palau Alumni Series: Vol.2 Ms. Deidre Yamanguchi


   Ms. Deidre Yamanguchi is an alumna of Japanese Government (MEXT) Scholarship, who got her Master’s degree at Sophia University in Japan under MEXT Scholarship’s research program.
   Ms. Yamanguchi graduated from Mindszenty High School and went to the United States to further her education. She received her Bachelor’s degree at California State University Chico. After she returned home and worked at Mindszenty High School for a while, she applied for the MEXT scholarship to pursue higher education in Japan. She studied English literature as a graduate student at Sophia University in Tokyo from 2005-2007.
   After getting her Master’s degree in Japan, Ms. Yamanguchi also applied for the Japanese government’s JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching) program, which brings English-speaking teachers to work as Assistant Language Teachers (ALTs) in schools throughout Japan. Through this program, she got to work as an ALT at Aboshi High School in Himeji City, Hyogo prefecture for 2 years. Hyogo prefecture is one of Palau’s sister cities since August 16, 1983. You can see this link from Hyogo prefecture’s official website.  https://web.pref.hyogo.lg.jp/fl/english/palau.html
   Ms. Yamanguchi said her impression of Japanese high school students is that they are very disciplined and organized. She liked working in Japan as a teacher, as it taught disciplines to herself as well. She also noticed that her son, who was 4 years old at that time and went to a nursery school in Japan while Ms. Yamanguchi was working, learned a lot of life skills and disciplines there.
   Ms. Yamanguchi’s favorite thing to do in Japan was going to Himeji Zoo and taking her son to a shopping mall in the neighborhood. Her son would enjoy playing at a play corner in the mall. One of her memorable time in Japan was going to the Prince concert in Japan while she was studying at the graduate school. She also misses her friends, Japanese food and the seasonal festivals. Her favorite food which she first tried in Japan was curry udon. Her son also loved rice and curry.
   Ms. Yamanguchi started teaching English at Palau Community College in August 2014 after completing her years as an ALT under the JET program in Japan and has been there until now. She enjoys her job doing something she is good at. As a Japan alumna and an educator, she is interested in doing online exchanges and connecting Palauan students with Japanese students.   
   Her father, Mr. Joseph Yamanguchi is the second generation “Nikkei,” Palauan of Japanese descent. Ms. Yamanguchi told that she wishes to find her relatives “Yamaguchi” in Japan someday.