Kohawk headed to Japan through prestigious teaching program

Isabella Lopez
Isabella Lopez ’19

Isabella Lopez ’19 is completing her final days as a student at Coe knowing she is headed to Japan in July. Following a six-month, rigorous application and interview process, Lopez received word she was chosen to participate in the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program. 

The JET program is a teaching exchange managed by the Japanese government. Living and working in Japan allows JET participants to serve as cultural ambassadors of the United States. Lopez was granted an annual contract to teach English to school children.

“I was in high school the first time I heard Japanese language and music,” Lopez said. “I found the music beautiful and poetic. That was when I decided to learn Japanese and study in Japan.”

The decision to attend Coe was easy for Lopez. “I loved the fact I could take Japanese classes and study abroad affordably,” Lopez said. “I spent my junior year at Coe’s sister school, Nagoya Gakuin University, in Japan. If it weren’t for Coe, I wouldn’t have had this opportunity.” 

Lopez has been a consultant in Coe’s Speaking Center since her first year on campus. Her love of teaching English as a second language (ESL) grew as she worked with ESL students on campus. “I’ve also completed an internship at the Catherine McAuley Center,” Lopez said. “It’s given me an opportunity to teach English to immigrants from all over the world.”

Lopez received guidance throughout the JET application and interview process from Kathy Welsh, Coe English as a second language instructor, as well as Professor John Chaimov, Director of Off-Campus Study. “Kathy and John provided support throughout the application process. And I wouldn’t be in the position I am today without them.” 

Coe College offers superb academics and exciting co-curricular activities in a thriving urban setting that promotes student growth and success. Established in 1851, Coe has a national reputation for academic excellence enhanced by a student-centered, highly supportive campus environment. Coe’s vibrant Cedar Rapids location provides an abundance of internships for students and career opportunities for graduates.

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