Student Feedback

My Tandem Story

My name is Jordan and I graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2012.  I am sending an email just to give thanks for the introduction TANDEM PLUS did for us. Because of this program we have been able to have a special relationship connecting the U of M to Japan for the last 10 years.

 Easter in Minnesota

Back in 2008, TANDEM Plus introduced myself and Akirhiro Ariumi (Post-doc surgical student) to each other. Our first meeting was at the WASHINGTON STARBUCKS and from then, Ari started coming to family holiday events and we became friends from there. From 2008, we have stayed in touch and he has visited Minnesota several times as well as me visiting him and his family in Japan while working out with the HIROSHIMA TOYO CARP baseball team. I also got to meet his children for the first time this past month and it has been great to stay in touch with each other over the years. Now I work for ALTRA Footwear and was able to give him shoes to try for running! He actually introduced me to the surgeon who performed my ankle surgery here in Japan for a torn ankle ligament. The impact we have had on each other is extraordinary and we can thank the TANDEM Program for that!

     Jordan_and_ari_-_tandem_partners_for_10_yearsWe will continue to stay in touch with each other and he is already talking about sending his kids to Minnesota to study when they grow-up.  
Thanks again for the great introduction and keep doing what you do!   jordan_with_aris_family_in_japan.jpg     

 

 

 

Voices from other participants

What did you learn from this experience?

"As our conversations went on, I became a bit more relaxed and allowed myself to make mistakes."

 

"It taught me to use the words I know to communicate an idea, even though I'm not fluent."

 

"The most important things I learned were to be a listener before a speaker, more understanding than judgmental, and more relaxed than nervous. Speaking a second language is a lifelong skill that introduces a plethora of new experiences, people, and perspectives."

 

"This was an invaluable experience in learning a language! I think it helps a lot to speak to a native speaker, and it was less intimidating because the person is also learning your language. I learned a variety of linguistic and cultural things, but I think the best part was being able to connect with someone in a different country and gain more confidence and competence to communicate with them."