Catherine Cornelius

Scholarship Awarded: 
JET Program

Major: Double major in Modern and Classical Languages, Literatures, and Cultures: Japan Studies, and Political Science

Hometown: Sadieville, KY

Opportunities the award will afford you now of in the future: This competitive award is a full time job teaching English abroad in Japan on a year-long contract basis, renewal for up to 5 years total. As such, this reward gives me immediate post-graduation job security, and an opportunity to travel and work abroad. I am looking forward to working with Japanese students, helping bolster their interest in learning English and about American culture - hopefully leading to more Japanese students studying abroad in the USA as high schoolers and college students! 

Why you selected your area of study: I started taking Japanese in high school and determined from there that I would like to major in the study of the language and region. I became interested in Political Science in high school, and wanted to expand on my knowledge of how Japan interacts with its neighbors by looking into international relations politics, and Asian regional politics. 

Professors/advisers who have been most influential: Atsushi Hasegawa, Masamichi Inoue, Jillienne Haglund, Valerie Rister 

Life experiences that influenced you toward your area of study:  As a child, I grew up with a second-generation Japanese family living next door, and the would throw parties for Japanese holidays, as well babysit me. As such, I’ve had an interest in Japanese culture from a young age, so it made sense to major in it. On top of that, several high school exchange programs over the summer in Japan cemented my desire to get a degree that would enable me to live and work in the country. A high school trip to Parliament in Canada with my AP Comparative Government class also made me interested in the workings of foreign governments, and sparked my interest in international relations and comparative studies.