In 2015 Japan produced one of the greatest sporting upsets of all time by beating South Africa in the Rugby World Cup. With Japan hosting the next Rugby World Cup in 2019, New Zealand is seeing more and more Japanese rugby players coming here to improve their Rugby skills and study English.
The experience has been invaluable for these high performing rugby players and highlights the considerable differences between Japanese and New Zealand rugby styles. Two Japanese rugby players from NTT DoCoMo in Osaka, Yoshimi Watanabe (Fullback) and his colleague Go Miura (Flanker) both commented that their English has improved dramatically since they began studying at Campbell and it has helped them to more effectively understand their coach’s instructions and game strategy. It has also helped them communicate and bond with their NZ teammates.
“Campbell has a great atmosphere to learn English as everyone else speaks English here. I have more opportunities to talk with other students. I feel my listening and vocabulary are improved. It was a wise decision to study aboard in NZ.”
Go Miura – Japan
“Campbell has a good mixture of students from different culture background in their classes. It is good for me to meet people from all around the world. I like to study here because when I have difficulty to understand something in English, my classmates always explain it for me. Teachers are always helpful. I wish to go back and study English here every year.”
Yoshimi Watanabe – Japan
When they aren’t training for rugby games the students also enjoy Campbell’s extensive activity programme and life in Wellington. Yoshimi particularly enjoys the coffee culture and the local pub and club scene in Wellington.
For future Japanese rugby players looking at an overseas rugby and English experience, Yoshimi Watanabe provides the following advice:
“New Zealand is a free country and if you want to study rugby abroad, you need to learn jargons and pay attention to your pronunciation…Speak English more frequently and don’t be shy!”
Campbell wishes all of the Japanese rugby players all the best and we hope to see them play in the next Rugby World Cup in Japan in 2019.
Click here for an article on the Japanese students’ Wellington club rugby experience.