Being an RA: Shannon’s Story

I have been an RA at Mukogawa since the Winter of 2016. I have always been interested in learning about other cultures and meeting new people so I thought working here would be a great experience for me. This job has given me many opportunities and has truly changed my life.

Before becoming a Mukogawa RA, I had no idea what kind of career I wanted in the future or even the direction I wanted to go in. After spending time with the students, whether we were going on an outing, or I was helping with their homework, I was surprised to realize that being an RA did not feel like work at all. I talked with some of the teachers at Mukogawa about what their job was like and decided that I wanted to become an ESL teacher too. I recently graduated from Eastern Washington University and am planning on teaching English in Japan while getting my Master’s degree, then working at Mukogawa as a teacher in the future.

The RA position is perfect for college students for many reasons. For example, working at Mukogawa gives me very flexible hours. I never felt like this job got in the way of my classes or study time. There are also many places on campus to study; such as the Library, Commons, and dormitories. There are also many places to study outside during the spring and summer months.

Working at Mukogawa is also helpful because all of the students and other RAs we live with are also college students. We all have the same goals and it is always easy to find someone else who wants to study together or who can help answer homework questions. This job also provides the RAs three meals a day at Commons, which is a great time to spend talking with students.

This job has given me many different opportunities and has pushed me to do things I thought that I would never do. Watching my students improve their English through studying abroad encouraged me to study Japanese and Spanish. I was able to study abroad in Japan and Spain during my time at Mukogawa and I had support and encouragement from my students throughout these experiences.

The outings with students are also a very fun aspect of this job. I always enjoy taking them to The Milk Bottle, Green Bluff Farm and Laser Tag. There are also All Campus Outings provided to events like Bloomsday, Silverwood Theme Park, Disney on Ice, Sporting events and Fox Musicals.

When working at MFWI as an RA, you also have the opportunity to work in other departments like the Library and Computer Lab. The schedules are very flexible and these part time jobs provide a great opportunity to talk with students who are living in different dormitories. Students often have questions on homework or want to practice speaking English at the library so it is also a great opportunity to get library and teaching experience.

This job has given me the opportunity to make life long friends with Mukogawa students and other staff at MFWI. I am so happy that I had the opportunity to be a Resident Assistant at Mukogawa. This job has pushed me in the direction I am going now and I am so excited to see what the future holds.