Fumi- From Tokyo to Toowoomba

High School English Teacher, Shimizu Fumi left behind a stable life in fast-paced Tokyo to study a Master of Linguistics and Graduate Diploma of Learning and Teaching (GDLT) at USQ. Shimizu’s ultimate aim is to be a LOTE Japanese teacher in Queensland.


 Fumi Shimizu

Why do you want to teach Japanese in Queensland?

When I graduated from University in Japan five years ago I came to Queensland to study a Master of Arts and the Australian people changed my life for the better. I had a teaching registration in Japan and a stable life, but I wanted to challenge myself in another country. Living in Australia is difficult because of the language and cultural differences. But I really like this life – it’s a great challenge.

Why did you choose USQ?

I am going to apply for permanent residency after I graduate and it’s all about the points system. I have to get 120 points and it relates to my age, background, English speaking and university degree. And you get extra five points for living in a regional town – that helps!

I was also looking for a course where I get a teaching qualification in one year – I didn’t want to complete a four year bachelor degree again. I was also looking for a practical and intensive course for teaching in Queensland. The GDLT also has a semester one and two intake which was perfect for me.

What were your biggest fears before moving to Toowoomba?

I was so worried about university life and that I wouldn’t make any friends. But there was nothing to worry about. The lecturers are very dedicated, enthusiastic and patient and help you as much as they can. It’s not a huge university, but it’s a good place to study and it’s very easy to make friends in class, the refectory or the library.

How do you compare Toowoomba to Tokyo?

It’s a quiet place, but the skies are beautiful in the sunset – they are pink and blue and orange. And, when I look at the skies, I think I have made a wonderful decision to come to Toowoomba – it’s got a beautiful view. It’s very different to the life I used to know in Tokyo but I like Toowoomba.