Where Our Alumni Are Now-Roger Ling

Through The Canada-Japan Co-op Program, Roger discovered the unique opportunity to leave his comfort zone and live overseas while garnering work experience as a student, and embarked for Japan in September 2007. He spent the next twelve months in Imbari city in Japan’s Ehime Prefecture as a Native English Teacher with Peppy Kids Club, iTTTi Japan. Along with teaching English to school children of a diverse age range, he also had the opportunity to independently develop and teach his own English language curriculum – one of his most significant co-op accomplishments.

Roger now works as a Workplace Campaign Manager for United Way of the Lower Mainland, and he explains that even though his current position no longer requires him to work with young students, his participation in The Canada-Japan Co-op Program taught him the foundations of communication: “Without a shared language, I learned how to engage my audience through other means, such as eye contact, visual demonstrations, body language, and participatory activities.” A large part of Roger’s current role involves creating dialogue and rapport with workplace donors and volunteers, and he describes how the things he learned about interacting with others played a large part in helping him acquire the job, pointing out that “using creative ways to share [his] organization’s story in order to motivate and compel stakeholders is key to [his] job.” However, his time in Japan gained him much more than skills limited to the workplace, as he noted that living abroad in an unfamiliar country taught him how to “adapt quickly to different surroundings, solve problems on the fly, and be resilient in challenging circumstances,” and the experience became crucial for his personal and professional development.