Katie Nicol

Katie Nicol

Assistant Language Teacher, Kaminoyama City, Yamagata Prefecture, Japan
Bachelor of Arts in Japanese Language


She originally thought she would be an accountant, says Katie Nicol.

“I was studying an accounting degree at another university but then realised it wasn’t really for me. I decided I wanted to study something that I enjoy and that I was genuinely interested in, and for me that was Japanese. After exploring my study options, I decided to come to AUT as I prefer more interactive classes and I could see that AUT would be a great choice.

“I think the Bachelor of Arts offers a nice balance, and I would definitely recommend it to others. The papers on Japanese language and culture, as well as the other papers in this degree, cover a variety of interesting content.”

Valuable international experience
Spending a semester in Japan was the highlight of Katie’s studies at AUT.

“I decided to go on a student exchange to Hirosaki University because it’s located in a smaller city and I thought I would have more chances to use my Japanese here. I love all the friends I’ve made, both from Japan and from other countries. Despite being from different backgrounds, we could all communicate in Japanese.”

She would recommend going on a student exchange, Katie says.

“Just by being here you learn so much about the culture, language and people. You have no other choice but to speak Japanese. Hirosaki University is very attentive towards its international students and will not hesitate to help you with any problems you may have. The staff and lecturers are friendly and enjoy promoting Hirosaki to its foreign students.”

A new life in Japan
After graduating from AUT at the end of 2018, Katie is now back in Japan as part of the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme.

“I’m working as an assistant language teacher (ALT), based in Yamagata Prefecture, Kaminoyama City.

“What I like most about the JET Programme is that there’s lots of support for those who are new to teaching, like me. They offer various courses including the Japanese Teaching Course for those who wish to teach Japanese in their home countries. The courses offered are subsidised, and are there to help participants with career development for when they finish their placement.”