Since graduating in 2008 with two bachelor’s degrees, one in International Studies and one in Japanese language, Christy Bahr has been working, traveling, and staying involved with students, teaching, and the promotion of Japanese Studies. “My experience pursing a double major in International Studies and Japanese at the UW was intellectually rewarding and has continued to open doors for me post-graduation.” says Bahr.
During her time at the UW, Bahr studied abroad for a year in Japan and also participated in a short summer program. Of her time with study abroad Bahr says “UW’s study abroad program at Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo was crucial to my Japanese language studies. It allowed me to be fully immersed at a Japanese university through taking courses with Japanese students, as well connect with fellow exchange students through specialized language courses. I was able to significantly improve my Japanese language skills at AGU, and my experience abroad combined with the courses I took on campus at the UW, led me to feel confident and comfortable using Japanese in the workplace after graduation.”
Upon graduation she left again for Japan, having been selected for the JET Programme (Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme) working both as an Assistant Language Teacher and as a Coordinator for International Relations in northern Japan (Aomori Prefecture) for five years. After the JET Program, she circumnavigated the globe on a voyage with the Japanese NGO, Peace Boat, as an English/Japanese interpreter and translator. Following Peace Boat, she worked with Youth for Understanding and The Experiment in International Living leading a group of high school students on a month-long exchange to Japan.
Bahr further says, “My International Studies coursework and the Task Force experience in the Jackson School were key in preparing me for a global career. I learned how to collaborate with colleagues and think critically. My studies at the Jackson School have continued to be beneficial and most recently, greatly informed my graduate studies and in International Education.” In May this year she completed her master’s degree in International Education from NYU. During her time at NYU, she served as Vice President of the International Education Student Board and also participated in a short-term study abroad program in the Dominican Republic.
Bahr plans to continue work with the Japan Foundation where she is currently employed. As an Associate Program Officer at the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership in New York, she manages grant programs at U.S. institutions, and primarily focuses on supporting the growth of Japanese Studies at universities in the United States, a job that recently brought her back to Seattle for the Association of Asian Studies conference this past Spring.