University: Oxford University
Gap Year: Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) programme
On graduating, Pred went to Japan on the JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching) programme in 1997. He was based at a junior high school in Sendai City, north-eastern Japan, where he worked as an assistant language teacher.
What motivated you to apply?
Itchy feet, reluctance to enter a "normal job" in the UK, a desire to experience a new language after having studied French for 10 years, and an attractive package – including salary, nbso online casino reviews working hours, return flights and subsidised rent.
How did you fund the year?
The salary was more than plenty. I was able to pay off my student loans.
What are you doing now?
I am country manager for the British Council in Trinidad and Tobago.
What did you gain from the gap year?
A Japanese wife and two-and-a-half stone around the waist! It was an amazing year in which I learnt so much about the Japanese culture, the country”s people and its language. I also learnt a lot about the UK and realised how little I knew of my home country (Wales).
What was the best bit?
Socialising with fellow teachers – both Japanese and other nationalities – and having a blast. Making a bit of a difference by being a foreigner in rural Japan, and telling people about the UK.
What was the worst bit?
Being unable to understand jokes in the staffroom, and unable to have an impact on teaching in a below-standard school.