Not only is Sondra Thoreson an assistant language teacher, but she’s doing the job in Japan. A 2018 alumna, Sondra works in the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) program as an assistant to English teachers at several high schools in her area. She was inspired to pursue a career overseas while studying at Morningside.

Sondra chose to attend Morningside because of its proximity to where she had once lived, as well as the small community and class sizes. She has fond memories of the Morningside Activities Council (MAC) events and how convenient it was to attend on-campus events, and she also took advantage of opportunities like study abroad.

It was through study abroad that Sondra was first able to experience Japan. “It really solidified that I wanted to spend even more time here [in Japan], and getting the opportunity to teach when it isn’t my primary career goal seemed like a great way to get various kinds of experience.”

Thought culture shock and the language barrier have presented minor challenges, Sondra says her time in Japan is one of the most rewarding experiences she has been able to have. The opportunity also matches with her long-term goal to become a more well-rounded person through experiences that foster growth and new perspectives.

If you are wanting a career abroad, Sondra suggests that you do research on the program and jobs in which you may be interested. Sondra also notes, “Prepare for culture shock and be super flexible. Things won’t be the same as you knew them. Whatever you do, I hope you have as much fun as you possibly can with it!”