Dana Fager is a two-time CLS Japanese scholar, participating in the program in Kyoto, Japan. After graduating with a degree in International Studies, she went on to study in the Master of Science in Foreign Service program at Georgetown University. She now works at the Department of Commerce as an International Trade Specialist in the Office of Health and Information Technologies.
Even eight years after her first summer with the CLS Program, Dana continues to practice Japanese. She has worked for the Government of Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the U.S.-Japan Council. In 2016, she used the Alumni Development Fund to work with Globalize DC, an NGO focused on providing D.C. public school students a global education. Dana had the opportunity to share some of what she learned on the CLS Program in Japan with a group of American high school students. They ate Japanese foods and learned how to make traditional Japanese origami. She looks forward to other opportunities to teach Americans about Japanese culture such as helping to start a Japanese language affinity group at the Department of Commerce where she works.
“Aside from language skills, the CLS Program honed my cross-cultural communication skills and my ability to work with diverse groups of people to achieve a common goal. This is useful in every aspect of life.”
Dana and her CLS classmate during the 2012 program attending a cooking lesson taught in Japanese
Dana’s father grew up right after World War II and had a very different idea of Japan. Through Dana’s experiences with the CLS Program and other study abroad opportunities in Japan, she was able to give her father another perspective. Dana’s parents visited her in Japan and are interested in studying Japanese, trying more traditional Japanese foods, and exploring Japanese culture.
“The CLS Program is both a challenging and rewarding experience. After spending so much time learning a difficult language in a new cultural environment, I owe it to myself to keep up my language skills after returning from the program.”
As Dana continues her federal career, she hopes to use her language skills and cultural knowledge to one day work on issues related to Japan.
February 18, 2020