早川谷「寿」プロジェクトレター(号外) ~ベリーニ・ナディアさん~ (KOTOBUKI Project) [an extra]


My name is Nadja Bellini and I’m 27 years old. I’m half Swiss, half Italian and I’ve been born and raised in Zurich. My hobbies include reading, shopping, going to the cinema and discovering new cafés and restaurants. Although I enjoy some peaceful and quiet alone time once in a while, I also like to spend time with my friends and family, who would describe me as a friendly, caring and trustworthy person. Another great passion of mine is travelling. There are quite a few countries I’ve already been to, such as Egypt, Thailand, the United States of America and Canada. However, the country I love to visit the most is Japan. Even when I was still a child, I had already started to take an interest in it. My older brother and I grew up watching anime and playing video games, which is the reason why we were both fascinated by Japanese pop culture. By the time I turned 17, my focus of interest had shifted to the language, which is exceptionally melodious and beautiful in my opinion. I started attending Japanese lessons once a week, which were interesting but progressed rather slowly.

After I finished high school, I got hired by a company that produces gas sensors and I kept working there throughout the years, in order to fund my travels. Eventually I decided that my weekly Japanese lessons weren’t enough, so I enrolled at the University of Zurich and got a bachelor’s degree in Japanese Studies. During my studies I finally went to Tokyo and fell in love with that amazing and vibrant city. I’ve been there seven times already, but it never gets boring and I even got the opportunity to do an exchange year at the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies from 2013 to 2014. While I was staying there, I was able to improve my Japanese and meet many interesting people from all over the world. It was an incredibly precious experience, which made me esteem the country even more. Apart from Tokyo, there are other cities I’ve visited, including Osaka, Kyoto, Sapporo, Fukuoka und Naha. Nevertheless, there is a significant part of Japan that I’ve hardly seen yet. I still haven’t really visited the countryside and gotten to know the more traditional aspects of Japanese culture. It’s about time I finally explored the country’s rural areas and I think that Itoigawa with its beautiful landscapes would be the perfect place to do that. When I looked at the pictures of Itoigawa, I was stunned by its splendor. Living in an environment that is surrounded by nature and working at a traditional ryokan would help me gain an insight into Japanese culture for sure. Furthermore, by assisting in tourist projects I would get the chance to take my first steps in the travel industry, which is the career path I’d like to pursue. In order to achieve my goal, I’ve been attending a travel agency immersion course for the past few months. Since I haven’t been to Japan for almost two years and my new course takes up a lot of my time, I haven’t been as dedicated to my Japanese studies as I should be. For that reason, doing an internship in Itoigawa would provide some much needed practice to improve my language skills. Speaking of my linguistic proficiency, the languages I can speak to various degrees are German, English, Italian, Japanese and French. As it is my native language, I’m fluent in German and I’m confident in my English skills as well. Most of the books I read are written in English and I frequently watch American movies and series, which is why I don’t have trouble speaking or writing. Regarding my Italian speaking and writing skills, there’s still room to improve, whereas my listening comprehension is quite good, due to the fact that my father usually talks to me in Italian. In December of 2017 I took the Japanese Language Proficiency Test at the N2 level and passed it with a total score of 155 points out of 180. According to that result, my Japanese is not bad, although there are still many things I have to work on, especially my vocabulary, my writing and my kanji reading skills. My knowledge of the French language is rather limited, to be honest. I know the basics and I used to have very good grades in high school. Regretfully, I’ve hardly ever used that language for the past eight years and therefore I’ve forgotten a lot of vocabulary.

Despite my imperfections, I really hope that I’ll get the opportunity to visit that lovely town and meet its inhabitants. Staying for three months shouldn’t pose a problem at all for me, yet staying longer than five months might prove difficult. In other words, the maximum duration of my stay would probably be around five months. The earliest possible date for me to start the internship would be the 17th of May, as by that time I’ll not only have finished my immersion course, but also received the diploma. Moreover, it would be great if I could start not much later than the beginning of June. However, if that timeframe is too small and not flexible enough, I’d be willing to compromise and make some adjustments, because going to Itoigawa would be like a dream come true and I wouldn’t want to miss that chance.


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