Celine sent us her review about Fukuoka, School, and life here in Japan!! Thank you Celine!!
My name is Celine. I’m 26 and very happy with my working holiday in Japan! I’ve been interested in this country for 10 years so my dream was to live here for a while. The working holiday visa, which allows young people under 30 to reside for one year, made my dream come true.
I started with a 2-month-tour of Honshu and Shikoku islands before settling down in Fukuoka city on Kyushu island. I fell in love with this well kept city, where people are warm-hearted and often stop you to kindly enquire about your nationality. It has original architecture, some nice big parks where one can relax and also many local affordable delicacies such as the “Hakata ramen” noodles which sell for as little as 4 euros.
I spent my first 3 months there studying japanese at WAHAHA language school, not only to be able to express myself in Japanese but also to make friends.
Honestly, this was the key to the success of my working holiday! This school has a family like atmosphere which made me feel nurtured during the whole length of my stay. It gave me the support I needed to start living in this city new to me. Every week, the school organised outings for us to get to know Japanese people and make new friends. The school also took us to ikebana exhibitions, sumo tournaments, local parades, and festivals such as taiko (traditional drums) festivals.
Wahaha school found an apartment for me, which was only 20 minutes on foot from the sea and also close to the city centre, which is an ideal location to be able to fuly appreciate Fukuoka. But above all, it was the catalyst that enabled me to find a full time job. Together we wrote my resume in japanese, then the staff helped me to look for suitable jobs in specialized newspapers. The school acted as a go tween and a reference, which was fortunate because the company I was interested in didn’t wish to hire foreigners. After training for my job interview, I eventually got hired! That’s how I started working as a waitress at a 10 day festival. I then studied again for a while in order to take the Japanese Level Proficiency Test (Level 3). Thereafter I rapidly found a full time job with a french restaurant. The director of WAHAHA School introduced me to the manager while dining there. Although his previous experiences with french employees were poor, the head chef decided to give me a chance and after a one day trial, I was hired for the whole length of my stay.
I am now working 6 days a week from lunch to dinner. The staff is very kind an the atmosphere is great. I get to taste their dishes during my lunch break and they also teach me somewhat less formal japanese. From the restaurant you can see the ocean; it’s a small haven!
I haven’t decided what I’ll do once I get back to France, but for sure I will be happy to have achieved my dream! Moreover, since I am in a real working environment, and even it it’s in a restaurant, I have been learning a lot about interpersonal human relationships in Japan. There is far more to them than the usual cliches found on the internet for example and they may even make us reflect on our own way of thinking and doing things. For now I’m just enjoying my day to day life, but only when I return home to France will I be able to realize the personal growth I’ve been through over this year. I will have many reasons to feel pround of having taken up this adventure.