Meet World Campus – Japan 2013 Program Counselor, Ellery Oosterberg!

Ellery Oosterberg


I am Ellery Oosterberg and I am from the Netherlands. Currently I am studying Japanese language and culture at the University of Leiden.

When I was around age 13 I got an MSX computer (Sony). This tiny machine introduced me to the marvelous world of Japanese games. I got intrigued by the manga style. Through this curiosity I found anime, J-Pop, Japanese movies and many more. Currently I am specialized in Movie and Theater with a particular interest in Asian cinema. However studying the language and culture for three years already without visiting the country itself was a bit strange. My goal was to travel through Japan as soon as possible.

To achieve that goal I joined the 2012 World Campus –Japan program as participant for three sessions. I completely fell in love with WC-J. As a student it offered me a better understanding of the language, but I also experienced the culture in first hand. However my host families learned a lot from me as well, including about their own culture. That is a feeling and experience which is priceless.

I was very happy (I was running around from joy!) when Hiro asked me to return to Japan to WC-J as a counselor.

So I will be there for all of you to have fun of course, but also to help you find your ways in Japan and experience Japan 100%. And also if you want to know more about me just ask, for I will do the same.

I am looking forward to meet you all in Japan soon!

Ellery Oosterberg (The Netherlands)

Meet World Campus – Japan 2013 Program Counselor, Alvaro Martin-Mazorra!

Alvaro Martin-Mazorra

Hi Everyone!

My name’s Alvaro and I’ll be one the program counselors this year in World Campus Japan program.

I am Spanish but have been raised mostly in the Netherlands so you can count me with the Dutchies!

I currently live in Leiden and study Japanese at Leiden University.

My passion for Japanese goes all the way back to my childhood with series like Doraemon and Pokemon to name a few, but I started to get more into it towards my teenage years and since then I haven’t stopped.
The First time I went to Japan was with World Campus Japan. I was so excited; I had already read, heard and seen many things about this most fascinating country and was eager to see it with my own eyes. The first thing I thought when I stepped out of the airport was: it’s HOT in here! But that was soon replaced by other impressions like “the cars look like toys” and “there really are vending machines everywhere”. Soon I met up with the rest of the group, all from over the world, and I got paired up with my host family. That week was amazing! I had a blast with my host family and the group got along so well together. All that I experienced the other weeks was just as amazing and unique in its own way, and I cherished every moment. My second time to Japan was also with World Campus Japan and it was just as awesome as the year before.

I have experienced and gained so much from this program that I thought: This year, I want to contribute!

So this time I’ll be going as a counselor!

My job shall be to aid you, with the other counselors, on the rollercoaster ride that is World Campus Japan. Because you’re not only going on a fun trip, you’re going on a full-fledged cultural trip and, I’ll be honest, you might feel a bit rough at times.

That’s what we counselors are there for, to make sure to help you through those patches (we’ve all been through them!) and that you enjoy the program at the maximum knowing that there are people behind you to catch you when you fall. All in all, you won’t have to fear anything cause by the end of your trip you’ll have formed a strong bond with the whole group and will have gone through so many things that you’ll actually surprise yourself when you look back.

See you this summer!

Alvaro Martin-Mazorra (Spain/The Netherlands)

Meet World Campus – Japan 2013 Program Counselor, Nina Møller!

Nina Cecilie Phaff Møller


My name is Nina Møller and i am one of the counselors for this year’s World Campus Japan program. I come from the land of fairy tales – Denmark. I’m currently living in the capital of Denmark, Copenhagen. I also study at the University of Copenhagen and am finishing my bachelors degree in Japanese.

In Denmark, Japan is a very exotic country and a lot of people love Japanese food, history and sports. But that’s not what caught my attention; I have always loved to study advanced language and when I heard Japanese for the first time, I just fell in love with it. I therefore decided to study Japanese, and after 2 years of practice, I travelled to Japan for the first time with World Campus International, Inc. in the summer of 2011.

I had heard a lot about Japan from my classmates; they all said that Japan was unlike any other country and that it was amazingly different- in a good way. It all sounded very good but I didn’t have high expectations since I hadn’t been there before. I could never have guessed that this trip would change my life forever.

I had never travelled alone before, so travelling all the way to Japan -on my own, was something that I needed to overcome. I had also never had a long conversation with a Japanese person, so it occurred to me; what if they couldn’t understand me? And when I suddenly arrived in Arao and met my host mother, I found out that she only spoke Japanese. Outgoing as I am, I normally say something to start the conversation. However because my Japanese vocabulary was kind of limited, and since “steering wheel” wasn’t exactly a part of my vocabulary, I didn’t know how to tell her that in Denmark, the steering wheel is normally in the left side of the car. So how could I explain what I meant with my incomprehensible babble? I ended up doing what most of you will probably try using one day; body language. And it was the perfect way for her to understand and she quickly responded with a “really?” In Japanese. This was a situation I was very proud of and I will always recommend you guys to use it, whether or not you know Japanese.

In Japan I had amazing host families, I made friends for life, and I met my current Norwegian boyfriend Ola. As I said before- it really changed everything for me.

My wish for this program is to be able to show you guys all the amazing things Japan and World Campus International has to offer. I want to teach you how to get all the little details to remember the wonderful places you’re going to visit. I want this trip to be as wonderful for you as it has been for me.

I can’t wait to meet all of you guys this summer and get to know you.

また ね(Japanese for see you soon)

Nina Møller (Denmark)

Meet World Campus – Japan 2013 Program Counselor, Daniel van Delft!

Daniel van Delft

Hey there everyone!

My name is Daniel van Delft, but you may call me Dan. I come from a small village in the south of the Netherlands, famous for it’s high quality and delicious beer. When I was deemed old and wise enough to attend university, I traded my peaceful village for the lively city of Leiden, in the west of the Netherlands. This is where I started studying Japanese. And now, I’m in my third year of university and getting ready to be a program counselor for World Campus – Japan (WCJ) this summer!

Up until two months before my graduation from highschool, I always wanted to become a physicist or a chemist, but math wasn’t exactly my strongest point and I realised I should probably strive for something more realistic. I had this minor interest in Japan, which started to become more prominent after talking to some friends, who showed me the country’s pop-culture. So even though I was never particularly good at learning languages, I (quite impulsively) decided to give “Japanstudies” a try. Boy, did I make the right choice! Like I said before, I’m in my third year now and I’m having a blast! I like Japan’s pop-culture, but I’m also drawn to it’s old traditions. During my freshman year I have also grown to love the Japanese language. I’m very interested in kanji in particular, because they are what makes Japanese so different from any Western language. Another aspect of Japan that I appreciate a lot, is something that I experienced with WCJ, namely the Japanese people. The host families, but also the people that I met on the street by chance were so hospitable and eager to help out a weird foreigner like myself. Also, their mentality in dealing with others and their sense of community is something that, I think, many people in my country would benefit from, if they took it as an example.

As a rather shy freshman, I decided to go to a WCJ presentation and I got interested pretty much right away. I acted on this interest and that summer I went to Japan for the first time. I guess one can imagine that I was quite happy being in the country that I had been studying for a year and that amazed me to no ends. But this happiness and what was supposed to be a great experience turned out to be even better. The things that I have done, seen, tasted, heard, smelled and felt during those 2 months were indescribable. Due to a series of events, the group that I was traveling with at the time got so close, it was like being in a family. This also made all the activities that we were involved in together even more memorable. Besides all the frst hand experiences, I also learned a lot about myself during the program. This might sound strange, but I got a lot more confident by just traveling with WCJ. I suppose this was because as a participant I really had to step out of the infamous “comfort zone”, by staying with strange people, eating strange things and performing in front of an audience. Also in this perspective, WCJ is a great program, so depending on how much you’re willing to try things and “Go for it!”, you’ll be able to get much more out of your Japan experience than just an (already) awesome tour. I haven’t discussed the individual activities, the amazing Japanese people or the satisfaction of the arigatou event, yet, but I’ll leave that for you to experience yourself. Besides, this post would take hours to read if I were to write it all down. You’re always welcome to talk to me personally though!

Anyway, because of the incredible impact WCJ had on me, I decided to go to Japan again with said program. However this time I went as a program counselor and, again, the time I spent in Japan was something I will never forget. And well, here I am again! I’m ready to create another amazing summer with every one of you! As a counselor my goal is to be someone you can depend on, so if there’s anything you need, you’re welcome to ask me. I also like to think I’m a good listener, so if you just feel like talking to someone I’d like to be there for you. Don’t hesitate to approach me!

I can’t wait to meet you all and I hope you’re as psyched as I am about our upcoming adventures!

Daniel van Delft (The Netherlands)

Meet World Campus – Japan 2013 Program Counselor, Ola Johannessen!


My name is Ola, and I’ll be working as a counsellor for World Campus International, Inc. this summer. I come from Norway, but I’m currently living in Denmark studying psychology.

I travelled with WCI during the summer two years ago. I had been to Japan once before to visit my brother, so I thought I knew what I could expect from the programme. I decided to participate with 3 of my classmates from the Japanese class I was taking at the time. We had all agreed that it sounded interesting, with being a part of the local communities and such, and we were all very excited. When we finally arrived in Arao that summer, I had no idea about what I was about to experience. You could say that I was blown away, though that might be an understatement. Everything surpassed my expectations. Everything from the other participants to the staff and host families was far beyond what I had imagined.

Let me just say that I’m quite introverted; I usually don’t talk much with someone I’ve never met before, since I don’t see myself as being incredibly interesting or I don’t really know what to talk about. I like to be alone at times as well, so I can relax a little by myself. As a result I was quiet in the beginning, I didn’t say much to anyone beyond my classmates. Then things started to change. Already on the second or third day, our group had started to grow closer to each other. I came to know the entire group better and better, until I saw them all as my friends. Truth be told, I met my current girlfriend Nina, that summer. I got to know my host family better and better, and I was a bit disheartened when we left for the next city, since I felt that I hadn’t been there long enough. And I don’t usually bond with people that quickly. It might be hard to leave one host family, but you’ll be able to stay in touch if you want to. And you will meet other host families you’ll become fond of. You’ll experience a lot, but you’ll experience it with friends. And believe me when I say that you’ll laugh a lot.

What I’m trying to say is that even if you have difficulties getting close to others, even if you prefer to be alone, you will most likely grow to enjoy the company of your host families and your fellow participants. You will become a part of a tight-knitted group of people, a part of several Japanese families and local communities, and a part of the ever growing World Campus Japan community. You will gain friends from all over the world. You will learn, and you will grow. You will learn about Japanese culture, about other people, about yourself and, as a result, grow as a person.

My fellow counsellors and I will be there to guide you, and help you if there is a need for it. We’ll help you get the most out of your stay, we’ll be there when you’re having a great time, and we’ll be there if you’re down.

And as Marjike says further down on the page: try everything. You won’t regret it. Trust me.

Looking forward to seeing you in Japan!

Ola Johannessen (Norway)