CIR Introduction (国際交流員の紹介)
Sven Bjelan (Aug 2017 – present)
Hi! My name is Sven. I am from Croatia. It’s a small Mediterranean country in Europe. Republic of Croatia and Tokamachi have long and beautiful history that started in 2002 when Croatian National Soccer Team choose City of Tokamachi for training camp for FIFA World Cup in Japan and Korea.
I started to learn Japanese on second year of my first university, Academy of Fine Arts, because I decided to apply for an exchange student program and study at Tokyo Chuo University. After graduating Academy I enrolled for Japanology course and the Zagreb, University of Humanities and Social studies and in fourth year I received MEXT scholarship and went to study at Osaka Kyoiku University. After coming back to Croatia I was asked to apply for JET programme because Tokamachi wanted Croatian CIR. I am very happy that I can work here and deepen relations between my county and Tokamachi and Japan. Tokamachi winter is so much fun! I like snowboarding.
Amanda Marble (Aug 2018 – present)
Hi there! My name is Amanda and I am from the United States of America. I was raised in Iowa and have roots both there and near St. Louis. I studied Japanese at University of Iowa and spent my final year on study abroad at Nagoya University of Foreign Studies. I fell in love with Japan and was ecstatic to be offered a job with JET as I have been interested in translation work for years.
I enjoy traveling, playing video games, and doing Les Mills gym classes (Pump and Flow). It tends to snow a lot in Iowa but maybe not as much as Tokamachi. It reaches -20C in Iowa on the regular during winter so I can honestly say I enjoy winter in Tokamachi, because snow is way more fun when you don’t freeze!