Critical Language Scholarship Program | Julie Emory
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Julie Emory

Julie Emory is an alum­na of the 2020 CLS Japan­ese vir­tu­al insti­tute host­ed by Okaya­ma Uni­ver­si­ty in Okaya­ma, Japan. She is a sec­ond year master’s stu­dent in inter­na­tion­al stud­ies at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Wash­ing­ton, Seat­tle and has a bachelor’s degree in his­to­ry and nation­al secu­ri­ty stud­ies from Coastal Car­oli­na University.

Get­ting to Know Julie

I was born in New Jer­sey but grew up in Flori­da, South Car­oli­na, and Vir­ginia. As a first-gen­er­a­tion, low-income col­lege stu­dent, NSLI‑Y and study abroad through my col­lege allowed me the oppor­tu­ni­ty to be the first in my fam­i­ly to trav­el over­seas, to South Korea and Japan. These expe­ri­ences abroad fos­tered a life­long curios­i­ty that man­i­fests in my love of read­ing and inter­est in glob­al affairs. I am cur­rent­ly resid­ing in Wash­ing­ton state and intend to con­tin­ue liv­ing on the West Coast fol­low­ing com­ple­tion of my Mas­ter of Arts. I am an avid read­er and casu­al gamer in my spare time. 

Why Japan­ese?

I ini­tial­ly want­ed to study Japan­ese upon devel­op­ing inter­est in a class on the his­to­ry of World War II that I took at a local uni­ver­si­ty when I was a high school stu­dent. With­out the resources in South Car­oli­na, how­ev­er, I had to com­mit to inde­pen­dent study of the lan­guage. Even­tu­al­ly, as I stud­ied Bud­dhism, Japan­ese cul­ture, and Japan­ese lit­er­a­ture, my inter­est grew and moti­vat­ed me to seek an edu­ca­tion in Asian Politics.

I would encour­age oth­ers to learn Japan­ese because Japan is extra­or­di­nar­i­ly influ­en­tial from the wide­spread allure of pop­u­lar cul­ture to its impor­tance in the inter­na­tion­al the­ater. Addi­tion­al­ly, I believe learn­ing Japan­ese pos­es a unique chal­lenge as a lan­guage extreme­ly dif­fer­ent from Eng­lish (con­sid­er you must learn approx­i­mate­ly 2,000 kan­ji in addi­tion to an almost oppo­site gram­mat­i­cal sys­tem to read a news­pa­per, for exam­ple). Learn­ing Japan­ese is a large com­mit­ment but the expe­ri­ence has been enriching. 

大変お疲れ様でした。Tai­hen Otsukare sama deshi­ta. This is one of my favorite phras­es in Japan­ese because I don’t feel there is an appro­pri­ate Eng­lish equiv­a­lent that feels as gen­uine to simul­ta­ne­ous­ly acknowl­edge and, often, thank some­one for their hard work.

Adapt­ing to the Vir­tu­al Program

I did not antic­i­pate the online tran­si­tion for CLS but I had many great moments with my peers in the new vir­tu­al envi­ron­ment. I loved laugh­ing with my lan­guage part­ner about dif­fer­ent car­toons and dra­mas we shared and talk­ing with my peers inside and out­side of class about var­i­ous projects. My favorite moment of vir­tu­al CLS was tak­ing my lan­guage part­ner on a tour of my uni­ver­si­ty cam­pus (albeit closed due to the pan­dem­ic). There were times where I for­got a word but still man­aged to com­mu­ni­cate and share some­thing spe­cial to me despite the dif­fi­cult cir­cum­stances of nav­i­gat­ing grad­u­ate school and a vir­tu­al pro­gram like CLS dur­ing a pandemic.

Since par­tic­i­pat­ing in the CLS Pro­gram, I’ve shared cul­tur­al and lin­guis­tic knowl­edge about Japan and have chal­lenged myself and those around me to lis­ten and talk about our dif­fer­ences to grow as a com­mu­ni­ty. I, for exam­ple, took time to step back and read So You Want to Talk about Race? and oth­er books to bet­ter under­stand my bias­es to become more under­stand­ing to those around me.

Future Pur­suits

I plan on enter­ing the pri­vate sec­tor as a policy/​security advi­sor in Asian affairs fol­low­ing grad­u­a­tion in the short-term future. After work­ing in the pri­vate sec­tor, I intend on return­ing to a PhD pro­gram in Polit­i­cal Sci­ence to teach Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty with a focus on Asia at a col­le­giate lev­el. My lan­guage skills will serve me pro­fes­sion­al­ly as I per­form research and com­mu­ni­cate with col­leagues in Japan to forge more pro­fes­sion­al contacts.

Alumni Profiles

Julie Emory
Julie Emory
Japanese 2020
Okayama, Japan

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Posted Date

May 10, 2021