Mr. Linus Bengtsson - Sweden
April 27, 2016 - interview
General Course (April 2013 to September 2014)
Q. What do you do now?
I study landscape architecture at a vocational school of construction. Actually, there were only 3 foreign students from western countries including me, but 2 graduated recently, so now I'm the only one. There are foreign students from Asian countries though. The total number of students at our school is about a few hundred.
Q. Studying landscape architecture isn't very common, is it? Did you start studying Japanese language because you wanted to study it?
No, I didn't think about it when I came to Japan. At that time, I just wanted to study Japanese language. I thought about what I wanted to do once reaching the advanced level after studying at KAI for several months. I like plants anyway and since the climates of Japan and my home country, Sweden, are different, I became interested in it.
Q. I see. Do you have advice for those who want to go to vocational schools in Japan?
First, the most important thing is to study kanji steadfastly. The textbook I use at my vocational school has 900 pages and it has lots of technical terms. So when I first studied with it, I couldn't understand at all and asked classmates for help. At KAI, I completed level 8, the most advanced level. However, I still had a very hard time. There are some foreign students whose Japanese level is lower than mine and they're all having a very hard time. All in all, if you want to go to vocational schools, at least JLPT N2 is essential.
Q. Did you have any other troubles?
As a matter of fact, most of my classmates are young people fresh out of high schools and I was very surprised that their Japanese is completely different from what I learned at Japanese language school. On the other hand, many of the teachers are male in their 50s or above and their Japanese is also different. So at the beginning, there were a lot of things I couldn't understand but interestingly I gradually came to be able to understand in this kind of environment. In addition, the Kansai dialect was also hard since the school is located in Osaka.
Q. What do you plan to do in the future?
I just finished my first year at the vocational school and have one more year. After finishing it, I want to work in Japan and get experience. My school is a vocational school of construction, so they have a lot of construction related employment information but not so much about landscape architecture and it's hard to find. However, many of my teachers actually work in the landscape architecture field and have networking, so I think I'll consult with them and find a job.
We hope you can get a job in Japan. Linus-san, thank you very much for your cooperation with the interview.