Asian Languages and Cultures

College of Letters & Science
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Matt A.

Major(s) and Certificate(s): 

Japanese Major, International Relations Major

Graduation Year: 
1995
Current city: 
Tokyo
Current state/province/country (if outside US): 
Japan
What have you done since graduating from UW-Madison?: 

Co-Founder and Vice President of AltJapan, Co., Ltd., a Tokyo-based company specializing in the localization and adaptation of Japanese content for English-speaking markets, including video games, animation, comic books, and toys.

Language(s): 
What motivated you to study this/these languages?: 

A longtime interest in Japanese pop culture since I was a child.

How have these languages enriched your life?: 

My entire career is built on the language study I did at the UW.

What do you remember about your UW language classes? How were they different from other classes you took?: 

The intensity and rigor was what struck me most. It was a demanding commitment time-wise. But a welcome one as I wanted to master the language.

How valuable were your out-of-classroom experiences?: 

Studying abroad both allowed me to apply the lessons I learned in class and develop new real-world experiences of the sort you can't learn from a textbook, particularly in such a highly contextual culture as Japan's.

How have you maintained or improved your language(s) since graduation?: 

I live in Japan, so I use my language skills every day.

What advice do you have for current language students?: 

While learning a language is incredibly empowering in its own right, it isn't a guarantee of employment in and of itself - it's important to cultivate and combine other skills with your language abilities for success.