Blog 1: The Land of the Rising Sun

“Welcome to Japan!”

Orientation was held during the first week that I was in Japan. The program rented out a capsule hostel for the interns, and for most of us – it was our first experience having slept in a capsule bed. Most of us agreed that it was surprisingly more comfortable than we had expected. Since Tokyo is so densely populated, capsule hotels have become an increasingly popular alternative to hotel rooms for those who are trying to find a convenient and cost sensitive room for the night.

The week consisted of going through the textbook and classroom material that we were supposed to cover. We also had various opportunities to ask questions and run through what-if scenarios in the classroom. Since there was close to 200 interns and there were hundreds of students that we would be teaching, it was important for everyone to be on the same page about the program’s curriculum and expectations.

After an intense 5 days of running through the class curriculum, talking through potential scenarios, and asking dozens of questions about anything imaginable regarding the program and our roles as teachers – the interns were sent off to Hakone for a weekend to relax and destress before the start of the program.

Hakone is a beautiful town known for its hot springs as well as its nature. Furthermore, Hakone also has a beautiful castle – as well as an active volcano!


Walking through Hakone was amazing – we all got to see the beautiful lakes, forests, and volcanoes. It was a wonderful way for all the interns to get away from the bustle of Tokyo and bond as they experienced scenic tours around Hakone. The weekend at Hakone left us feeling rested before our first week of teaching!

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