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Erika Worley


Grinnell, IA
East Asian Studies
Study Abroad:
JCMU, Hikone, Japan
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor:
Mint Oreo Blizzard
Best Adjective to Describe You:

In 10 words or less, why should a student want to be involved in this department?
Japanese is a joy, a challenge, and a passion.

What initially drew you to this department?  What keeps you coming back?
I have wanted to learn Japanese since I was in middle school and it intrigues me more than any other language. While pop culture is what lured me in, the culture has kept me engaged in the subject.

What’s your biggest piece of advice to first years and sophomores in this department?
Do your homework, practice with your friends, and don’t feel discouraged by the occasional bad grade. This a challenging language, but even a minor effort pays off when you actually get the chance to converse with native speakers.

How does your department connect to your other interests and activities?
I absolutely love Japanese manga, which has been a big part of my life since I first discovered it. While there is far more to Japanese culture than this, manga remains to be my favorite way of practicing my reading skills. In the future I would like to use my Japanese skills in my work as a graphic designer or advertiser. Currently, I use it to help my professor with her interview project.

What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned at K?
I’ve learned that doing what I want to do is so much more important than what other people would like me to do. This is a hard lesson to follow, but worth it when you can muster the will.

What has been your favorite class at K?  Why?
I feel like I take something from all my classes. Picking favorites is hard.

What is your SIP?
A travel account of my time abroad in Hikone, Japan.

What are your career aspirations/next steps after K?
I would like to go into digital advertising, or take whatever wonderful opportunity presents itself.

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