My daughter’s language learning adventure: a parent’s perspective

An American mother shares her thoughts with us as her daughter goes to learn Japanese in Tokyo

“It is with delight that I write this blog for Cactus. Right from the beginning Cactus helped us embark on my daughter’s journey to Japan with confidence, enthusiasm, and trust that all would be well. And so it has been…

I can’t say that I was not a bit anxious sending Dana across the world on her own to learn Japanese in Tokyo. And, I can’t say that as each day successfully passes I don’t enter the next with some trepidation. That being said, having reached the midpoint of Dana’s stay I am pleased to share this parent’s point of view.

Dana is 19 years old and has always had a passion for Japanese. So when she suggested that she take a leave of absence from college to “find herself” and explore her passion, I was not surprised. In fact, I was impressed that she knew herself well enough to know that she was not feeling passionate at college and needed to explore. The hardest part for me was letting go and having the trust to let her do this exploration on her own.

tokyo-japaneseDana is accomplishing her objective. Through the impressive curriculum and faculty at the language school, Dana’s command of the Japanese language is developing every day. Her classes consist of students from all over the world and so she has expanded her social network with friends from places like Spain and Sweden.

Given the diversity of the students it has been inspiring to hear how friendly, helpful, compassionate, and tolerant everyone has been. This is a snapshot of what I hope for the world.

From what I can tell the school is located in the midst of fun and interesting places for the kids to explore. Having the freedom to get to these places easily has not only added to the “fun factor” but has given Dana the opportunity to practise her Japanese skills with the “locals.”

Do I miss her? Yes, a lot. However technology has softened the blow for both of us. We video-chat just about every day. In fact, we spend more time seeing each other and talking now than we do when we are living under the same roof. And, video- chat gives Dana the opportunity to stay connected to her dogs.

There are 25 days left of Dana’s adventure. I look forward to sharing the rest of the story.”

Dana studied Japanese in Tokyo with Cactus. Cactus offers language courses in over 120 destinations worldwide.

Dana wrote about her initial impressions of Tokyo when she first arrived and about her experiences mid-way through her course. For anyone thinking about taking a language course abroad, Dana’s articles offer a unique insight into life in a foreign country, including the fears and excitement that come with a long-term course. Thank you both to Dana and her mother Robin for contributing to our website, and we hope that future students (and parents of) will find their comments reassuring and useful.

If you have a language learning or language teaching query, please visit our blog or get in contact with us either by Facebook or by Twitter. Alternatively, feel free to contact us here or call to speak to one of our advisors on  .

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