Obies Using Languages: Chris Nguyen ’15{0}

Chris Nguyen is a member of the class of the 2015 and is currently pursuing a double major in Economics and East Asian Studies. At Oberlin, he has studied Japanese, and just came back from a semester away in Waseda University, Tokyo. He is also taking the Korean Exco and learning Chinese by himself.

There is no experience in my mind that will ever replace the loud Irrasshaimase (Welcome!) that greeted me at every restaurant, the majesty of the temples and shrines in the middle of the always moving city, and the board games I’d play with my host brother while chatting with my host parents in Japanese. My language skills, as well as my confidence in them, increased drastically while spending my semester in Tokyo, Japan, but I can’t imagine how different my time would have been if I had not had the fantastic background I was able to build with the East Asian Studies Department at Oberlin. Even though I’m finished with the major, half my schedule is still focused around my language studies, and I hope to always keep my proficiency in Japanese (along with building up my vocabulary in Vietnamese and Mandarin) no matter where I am. Language will always be a passion of mine, and I’m so glad I had the fortune of being able to develop that at Oberlin.