University of the Ryukyus holds Career Fair for international students
January 23, 2013, Ryukyu Shimpo
On January 18, the International Student Center of the University of the Ryukyus held a special Career Fair for foreign students. According to the center, this is the first of its kind to be held in Okinawa. A total of 39 participants from four universities and two two-year colleges attended. The organizers commented that they were surprised with this unexpectedly high turnout and said that it illustrates the great interest among international students in finding employment in Okinawa.
Five companies from the food, catering and hospitality industries set up booths and gave presentations to the participants. Important issues such as working visa applications, cultural differences and the language barrier in the workplace were explained during the session.
Comparing the employment situation for foreign students in recent years, Yurie Jiroku, a career consultant at the center, said that companies have been reluctant to hire foreign students in the past, but that, “The situation has changed in the last few years. Businesses now want to hire people from overseas.” This is due to the recent increase in foreign tourists as well as business expansion into foreign markets.
Tomoyuki Nakamura, the manager of the personnel and administration division of Okinawa Watabe Wedding said, “International students know about places other than their own. They have the courage to take on new challenges and are also open-minded.”
Lina, a Chinese student who studies at Okinawa Women’s Junior College commented, “Because I’m learning Japanese, I would like to work in Japan. I’m interested in places like hotels and tourist businesses where I can make use of my language ability.”
(English translation by T&CT, Kyoko Tadaoka and Mark Ealey)
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