Wataru's Story: Charting His Course
"I studied navigational shipping at Tokai University in Japan. I’ve always dreamed of travelling and working around the world on a ship.
To become a sailor, it's necessary to learn English. A crew on a ship might be from the Philippines, India, Vietnam, Myanmar, or Indonesia. They use English to communicate, on the ship and in the ports. I knew the best way to learn English was to go abroad and study and enroled in the UBC English Language Institute.
The teachers at the ELI helped with my writing, grammar and pronunciation, and shared their knowledge and life experiences. They really thought about how to improve my English.
Through the ELI's Sea to Sky Club, I also discovered I loved hiking. There are mountains near downtown and great nature. I hadn't done much exercise before I came to Vancouver.
At UBC, I have made friends from around the world. My views have widened. I have a better understanding of different cultures and beliefs because of my friends and our Canadian Cultural Assistants. I have learned that kindness doesn’t depend on where you come from.
When I arrived in Vancouver, I could not have a conversation in English. Now, I can express myself well. I have taken a big step to reaching my language goals, and realizing my dream of becoming a commercial sailor and working around the world.
I'll never forget my experiences at UBC."