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Central Washington University
Office of International Studies and Programs
Hebeler Hall 102
400 E. University Way
Ellensburg, WA 98926-7408

Shuhei Nakada

SHUHEI NAKADA 中田 修平 (Cycle 2, 2010-2011; Davies Hall resident; International Relations major) 


Shuhei says, “AUAP created my life.  I met many local people and touched their culture throughout AUAP and that was very fun, exciting and interesting to me so I just started to think it would be fun if I could work in abroad and now I work in Egypt. If I could not join AUAP, my life would be so much different.” 


Shuhei’s favorite class during AUAP was TOEIC, because he thought grammar was so difficult to learn outside of classes.  But that doesn’t mean that he focused all his time on studying English.  “To be honest, I wasn't thinking, "I wanna improve my English!" or something like that. I just wanted to talk to local people and make friends so I joined so many AUAP activities and talked to CWU students to make friends. Then after AUAP, I realized that I could have a conversation in English (not perfectly though).”  Now he not only uses English in his job, but other languages, too.  “I moved to Cambodia after I graduated the university and worked with Cambodian and they don't speak English fluently so I had to speak Khmer a little bit and I also used to work in Maldives. They speak English but I used Dhivehi sometimes to communicate with them. And I'm trying to learn Arabic in Egypt.”

During AUAP, his biggest difficulty was keeping an appropriate distance between himself and his fellow AUAP student friends from Japan.  “It is always fun to hang out with Japanese friends and important to exchange information during AUAP,” Shuhei says. “There were about 80 AUAP students in my cycle so it was difficult to stay away from them, and I wanted to be friends with other AUAP students so I sometimes hung out with them. But I didn't want to stay with them too much, so I invited AUAP students to come with me when I hung out with local students.  I also invited local students to join me when I hung out with AUAP students.”  By doing this, he could keep a good balance, and it ended up multiplying his social circle of friends. 

The advice he’d most like to give to current students is to get out of AUAP groups.  “It's fun and comfortable to stay with Japanese friends,” Shuhei says, “but I would like you to go out and meet local people, make friends, feel their culture and enjoy breaking out of your comfort zone. It's scary and difficult, but you will see/find more valuable things. Try everything because you only live once!”
Shuhei thinks AUAP at CWU’s strong point is the group of teachers and staff members.  “Even if I could not speak English, they tried to listen to me. That made me comfortable,” he said.  The thing he most misses about Ellensburg is “Definitely the people.  Nicki, Mark, Andrew, Rose, and everyone else there I became friends with.”


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