For the first time in five or six years, Summerland will send an English teacher to its sister city of Toyokoro, Japan.
Anna Marshall was selected from among the applicants to serve for one year, with the possible extension of another year to her contract.
She will leave for Toyokoro, on Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido, on July 1 and will start work on Aug. 1.
To prepare for the role, she is working to complete a course in teaching English as a second language.
She is also being tutored in the Japanese language and culture.
Before she leaves, she will write up lesson plans for her time in Japan.
Marshall is looking forward to the experience in Japan.
“Asian culture has interested me, particularly Japan,” she said. “It’s going to be such an amazing experience.”
While she is preparing for a different environment, she knows it will be a difficult transition.
“No matter what I do, I’m going to get culture shock,” she said.
Marshall has had other international experience as she has spent time in Central America two years ago.
She also lived in Australia for eight months, although that country has many similarities with Canada.
The role in Japan will be different since she will be a representative for the community while she is in Toyokoro.
“She will be an ambassador for Summerland,” said Darlene Forsdick of Summerland’s sister city committee.
Marshall said the role comes with much responsibility.
“While I’m over there, I want to do as much as I can,” she said. “I’m not just representing Summerland; I’m representing Canada.”
Her teaching work will be with students from Kindergarten to Grade 12 as well as teaching English to adults.
Summerland and Toyokoro have officially had a sister city agreement since 1996. Delegations from Toyokoro have visited Summerland on many occasions during that time, and Summerland has also sent delegations to Japan.
In 2013, a delegation from Summerland will visit Toyokoro in September.