Becoming a Global Teacher – Quynh Hoang, 2016 Melville Scholar

Earlier this year, JCMU was able to open the first annual Harold Melville Memorial Scholarship competition! This endowment, which has been years in the making, allowed us to award two scholarships to students participating in our summer programs. Quynh Hoang, a student on the 2016 Teaching English in Japan program and one of the Melville Scholarship recipients, spoke with us about her experiences in Japan and how receiving the scholarship helped her better herself as she works towards becoming a teacher.


A white castle stands at the hilltop where water surrounds the area. Near the castle grounds is the new-old town where cars drive past traditional-style buildings. The smell of food lingers in the air, urging one to go into the shops. On the other side of the castle, one can hear trains stopping and leaving. While I stayed in Hikone, I had many memorable experiences in the small castle town of Hikone that enhanced my life as both a college student and a future teacher.

On the Teaching English in Japan program, I had the opportunity to work with English language students of all ages. I worked with people of all different backgrounds, which helped me see and learn about my own culture. I also had the chance to learn about the social and academic language of Japan, allowing me to better bond with the students I interacted with.

Through these connections, I was able to immerse myself in Japanese culture. I had the chance to taste dishes like omi beef, takoyaki, gyudon, tekkadon, and tonkatsu. I picked up a few Japanese words along the way that helped me during my travels to other parts of the country. Being in Japan has made me grow a stronger appreciation for Japanese culture and language.

With the Melville Scholarship, my study abroad costs were partially covered, which alleviated many of the financial concerns I had going in. This allowed me to develop my teaching skills while simultaneously helping me become a truly global citizen. My experiences in Japan taught me techniques to be used inside and outside of the classroom that I want to use when I become a teacher myself. I would like to thank [the donors of the Melville Memorial Scholarship] for giving me the chance to better myself as both a scholar and as a person in general.

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We hope that you will consider making a charitable contribution to the Melville Memorial Scholarship Endowment in your year-end plans, and help boost us towards our goal and provide more scholarship funding for future JCMU students like Quynh. Information for contributors can be found on the JCMU website, and donations to the fund can be made by mail, by phone or online. In the years ahead, we look forward to awarding more scholarships that help to bring down the financial barriers of study abroad.

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