by Lauryn Hughes | staff writer
Sophomore Lauren Loveless is one of sixSi NEISD Japanese language students that has been accepted through an application process to go on a 9 day trip to Japan. Loveless has been the only Johnson student out of many applicants to be accepted for a trip to Japan supported by JASA, Japan America Society of San Antonio.
“ First we have to be informed by our sensei who’s our teacher Kato sensei, she gave us an application that we could go online and we had to write an essay that had to be 300 words. We also had to fill out information. We had to get a recommendation letter from our Japanese teacher,” Loveless said.
After a lengthy process Loveless and the other applicants finished the steps and their essays to apply for the trip. Loveless decided to focus on her passion of Japanese culture as one of the many reasons why she wanted to apply.
“Mainly I focused on why I wanted to go to Japan, like saying that I wanted to since I was little. I’ve been interested in the culture, and how I’ve been working really hard for this. I knew someone from Japan when they came here. I also wrote about all my volunteer activities that I’ve done. I am a determined individual, and anything I could [say] to help my chances,” Loveless said.
Loveless has been fascinated by Japanese culture from a young age.
“Ever since I was young I’ve always been interested in history and cultures. I’ve always wanted to get outside of my little box that I’m in living in America and I want to expand my interests in culture, and Japan in a very interesting, innate place, with its culture, architecture, and art style.” Loveless said. “I just love Japan as a whole, their culture is very respectful and I was drawn in by that.”
The application was open to all San Antonio high school Japanese students, so the competition was high for chances in getting into the 10 selected spots.
“We had to go through an interview where only 10 people could be selected from the 100 or so that applied, and during the interview they asked us personal questions, they also asked scenario questions. That was a lot of pressure. Ultimately only 6 people got chosen to go.” Loveless said.
To Loveless all the trial and tribulations were all worth it in the end to get to visit the place of her dreams.
“I am very excited to go to Japan but also kind of nervous, cause we have to stay in a host family’s house and they don’t know any English, so we’re going to have to speak in full Japanese so it’s very intimidating.” Loveless said. “But overall, I’m very happy to get this opportunity. I’m very grateful that I was selected, and I hope I can make use of this in my future because I want to work in Japan as a doctor, an anesthesiologist specifically. I am just excited to go.”