ALT Feature: Ana Liza in Hyogo
Why did you decide to move to Japan and become an ALT?
I went to Japan because I was hired by a Japanese company to be an office worker in 2006. Unfortunately, the company got bankrupt in 2013 so I decided to try working as an ALT.
What do you like about being an ALT?
I think that being an ALT helped me become more interactive and more comfortable with dealing with diversified people. Being an ALT helped me become more creative, and more sensitive to other people’s needs. I have also come to appreciate and accept each student as they are.
Tell us one of your highlight moments as an ALT.
Every time I see students’ smiles and see them enjoy speaking and conversing in English, it always makes me feel like I have fulfilled my job. There were times when some students would tell me that they would like to be English teachers someday. It would make me happy, knowing that I have touched my student’s lives.
What was difficult when you first came to Japan and started your job?
The language barrier was the most difficult when I came to Japan. I studied Japanese while working and after quite some time, I was able to communicate well with Japanese people and was able to understand their language. The culture was also one of the difficult things to understand when I got here. But through time, I was able to comprehend and appreciate Japanese culture.
What do you like about Japan or living in Japan?
I love the people – their courtesy, attitude towards work and how they value each person. I love the places – so many things to be discovered and enjoyed. I love the food – simply delicious and healthy! I love how everyone can be equal. I like the feeling that in general, Japan is a safe place to live in.
Did anything about Japan catch you by surprise?
I was caught off guard with the prices of commodities in Japan when I first came here. I would always compare the prices here and in my country. I was also amazed and still get amaze with the technology here in Japan which makes life easier. I got so used to the comfort of technologies here that I tend to find it in the Philippines whenever I go home for vacation.
What would you say is an absolute must-do or visit in Japan?
For me, an absolute must do is to eat Japanese cuisine – sushi, ramen, yakiniku and the likes. I would recommend visiting places where one can be in touch with nature and with Japan’s history, to name some – Himeji, Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Hiroshima, Tokyo, Hokkaido. This is to experience Japan’s finest – in the culinary and tourism area.
Tell us about the city and region you are placed in.
I live in Himeji City but I am placed in Harima Town, about an hour away from my home. Himeji City is getting more famous and attracting more tourists not only because of the historical Himeji castle but also because of the improvements in the city as well. In Harima town, it’s a very nice place with good people around.
If you were to recommend Interac to a friend, what would you say?
Interac offers solid support to their ALTS, organized and efficient. Interac finds better ways of assisting their ALT’s and making the ALT’s work more effective and productive.
If you were to recommend becoming an ALT in Japan to a friend, what would you say?
Being an ALT is very fulfilling and challenging. An ALT’s life will have its shares of sunny days and rainy days – but the pot of “gold” at the end of the rainbow makes it all worthwhile – that of touching the lives of your students.