By Ashley Rader
Elizabethton’s Macee Hubbard is following her dream to teach English in Japan after being accepted for a competitive teaching program.
Hubbard, who recently graduated from East Tennessee State University, will teach English to middle school and elementary school students in Kiryu City in the Gunma Prefecture in Japan with the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program.
This is not Hubbard’s first trip to Japan. She studied at Toyo University in Tokyo in 2011-2012. Hubbard said she decided to study abroad after completing all the Japanese courses offered at ETSU. She completed six years of Japanese courses, including classes she completed while in high school. While in Japan, she worked at an English café where customers would come to talk with staff to help improve their English skills.
“I enjoyed it because I met a lot of people,” she said. “During my stay there, I had a homestay program where I stayed with a family there and we would go out and do stuff together. I went to an elementary school and got to play with the kids and eat lunch with them. As soon as I went there, I knew I wanted to teach little Japanese kids English, because that would be so much fun.”
Hubbard said she was hesitant at first to apply for the program because it was so competitive. She first learned of the program while she was a freshman at ETSU, but had lacked confidence in her Japanese language skills.