Interview with Dorian (spring 2016)

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I wanted to share with my home school, coworkers, and fellow students a new perspective of life in Japan

TIU Staff: Hi Dorian, how are you? Could you please tell us something about yourself? 

Dorian: Hello! My name is Dorian Andrews. I was born in Baltimore, Maryland and I lived in Alabama for 15 years. I currently attend Towson University in Towson, Maryland with a double-major in International Studies and Radio/Audio. I come from a working-class family of 6, myself included. My hobbies are singing, writing, photography, video editing and public speaking.

Dorian Andrews from Baltimore

TIU Staff: How did you know about the Japan Studies Program and why did you choose Tokyo International University for your semester abroad?

Dorian: I researched the school from Towson University’s study abroad program, and I talked with a study abroad advisor about options for an exchange program. I decided to choose Tokyo International University over my sister school, Kansai Gaidai University in Osaka, because my brother lives in Yokosuka, Kanagawa. Also, I know that there are many opportunities for adventure in the Tokyo and Kanagawa Prefectures, as well as enjoying more culturally traditional places in Saitama. I wanted to share with my home school, coworkers, and fellow students a new perspective of life in Japan so that TIU and the Towson University study abroad program will benefit from my unique experience.

Dorian with his brother’s family in Ginza, Tokyo

TIU Staff: Tell us what you have been enjoying the most when you are in Japan.

Dorian: I am going to be as honest as possible…the train system is very difficult to understand at first. After a little while, I realized that it is reliable and easy to navigate. It also covers the majority of the country, so going long distances is mostly possible! I love a country that promotes riding a train over driving a car. Another great benefit from being in Japan is the customer service. Whether it is a high-end restaurant in Ginza or a small convenient store in Kawagoe, the cashiers and waitresses are always friendly. Dating in Japan is fun too, but that topic is for another time…hahaha!

TIU Staff: We heard about your Youtube channel. Would you be so kind to share a few videos of your travel with us here?

Dorian: Absolutely! I started out my new series of videos (DOREO X TOKYO) while I was in my brother’s house before JSP Orientation happened. I have been to Ikebukuro, Odaiba, Shibuya, and many other beautiful sights. One of the most memorable places I have been to is Yokohama because there are many places to go and it does not feel too crowded. However, the adventure has only begun! Currently, I am in the process of uploading videos about Matsuya, Book-Off, Freshness Burger, the JSP Spring 2016 International Fair, and my “Top 5 Favorites of Japan”. I try my best to post new videos every Wednesday. After my adventures in Japan end, I plan to make videos about my opinions on popular and underrated video games and music. But before that, there will be more exciting adventures already scheduled to take place (Osaka, Kyoto, Odawara, etc.) and a new mini-series called “DOREO X SEOUL” will start in August. I am open to any traveling suggestions from subscribers and TIU students alike!

TIU Staff: What is your next plan after finishing JSP?

Dorian: After JSP, I intend to finish both my majors college within a year or two. Following that milestone, I will return to Japan to look for an English-teaching job (many Japanese and English-speaking students have encouraged me to pursue this). I love teaching and improving my skills as a supporter and relationship-builder. However, my main objective is to use my second major (Radio/Audio) as a foundation for writing and producing music in Japan (and Korea in the future). I will leave Japan in December of 2016, but If I can I would like to see my brother’s wedding in the Spring of 2017. I potentially see Japan as a potential home for myself and my future children. I love the safety and conservative yet exciting culture of Japan.

In Kamakura, a city south of Tokyo

TIU Staff: Do you have any advice to future JSP students?

Dorian: Don’t worry about missing Philly steak sandwiches and Mexican foods. The payoff is well worth it! Also, based on the conversations I’ve had with E-Track and Japanese students, the JSP Program is stigmatized as a group of Americans who always stick together and enjoy the host family experience privately. In addition to being friends with JSP students, I believe it is great to meet new Japanese, E-Track/J-Track, and Graduate students on a daily basis. The JSP Program is set up so that American students can become ambassadors and representatives for  their respective Universities in United States. Don’t be afraid to start conversations, fail, make mistakes, go against the norms, and BE YOURSELF! Go out on adventures as much as possible because there is always something new to see in Japan. Classes are four days a week, three hours per class, and TONS of homework and quizzes. I took a year off of learning Japanese before coming here…Don’t make my mistake and try to study Japanese before coming to this school! Regardless of your prior experience, The JSP Program is a great opportunity to utilize your skills and further enhance them. My last tip is to see this as a life-changing encounter, because it truly is! 🙂

Thank you for your patience!

Subscribe to DOREO X JLCO Youtube channel for video updates every Wednesday on Dorian’s adventures in Japan as JSP student