Grace Buchele 2014, an International Relations and East Asian Studies major and David L. Boren Scholarship recipient from Georgetown, Texas, spent 11 months in Japan during the 2012-13 school year teaching English, studying full-time at the International Christian University in Tokyo, and volunteering as an English teacher at local elementary schools. Recently GoAbroad.com interviewed her about the benefits of interning and working during a study-abroad experience. The site also published one of Buchele’s articles on dating in Japan.
Being interviewed and writing stories are nothing new for Buchele, who—thanks in part to encouragement from Professor of English Jon Volkmer—maintained a blog titled Texan in Tokyo during her time in Japan. While she was there, Japanese news website Searchina, which Buchele calls “the equivalent of Yahoo News,” wrote about her blog pieces How to Eat Sukiyaki (Japanese Food) and Top 5 Things to Do in Yokohama Chinatown. Afterwards her blog had more than 9,000 views.
She was also featured on the front page of Nikkei, a Japanese economics newspaper, for her work as an intern with Duckdive Inc. (part of Meetrip), a startup company that links travelers with locals who act as personal tour guides. (Buchele had contacted Duckdive to inquire about an internship after using the company’s services.) Initially she wrote the English translations for the search engine optimization (SEO) page, but she progressed to making SEO pages for Android and iPhone apps, formatting Facebook ads, and working with the press. The Nikkei article focused on how she had landed the internship and how she, as a foreigner, perceived the company.
Buchele continues to post stories to her blog and a recent one was picked up by the Huffington Post. She wrote about a family heirloom dress that had been worn by her mother, but was ruined by the company that was hired to preserve it 20 years ago. Unfortunately, Buchele didn’t discover the mistake until shortly before her own wedding, which will take place in January 2014 in Texas. Her fiancé is Ryosuke Mineta, whom she met while he was studying abroad here at Ursinus.