Catherine Wu: Volunteering at Muromachi afterschool program

My CIP was volunteering at the Muromachi location’s elementary afterschool program. My time usually consisted of joining the staff meeting from 2:30-2:45, playing games with kids until 4, which is snack time. Since I worked in two locations, I found that the smaller program with around 17 kids was much more fun and helpful for learning Japanese. Getting to know your coworkers and the kids in a smaller setting is really nice, and I wish I had more time at the smaller location since I spent 6/8 weeks at the larger location. I feel like I’ve learned kansai-ben as well as how to talk very casually (as kids don’t ever use formal language), so it’s been nice to see me understanding them more as the program went on. I will say that kids can sometimes be really rowdy and it might be awkward to try to go up to kids you aren’t familiar with to start conversations, so if you are on the shy side or don’t like to be around too much noise, this might not be a good CIP.