José Cruz: Anyway thank you very much for uh, for doing this with me.
Vasco Ferraro: Thank you very much for having me.
José: What made you want to do this? Come to Japan and stuff?
Vasco: Come to Japan? Oh that is interesting. It’s- it’s very challenging. Actually when I applied for uni, uh I could see that there was this uh year abroad opportunity. (Mm hmm) Actually not even an opportunity. Because for the course of studies I’m doing at the moment it’s like mandatory to do one year abroad. So it was either Japanese or French. So like uh I don’t know, I feel like the best thing to learn the language is to be on the place, being on the placeVasco might have been better to use “at the place (0:35), becausepronounced, “KUHZ” (0:37) so far like, the stuff I’ve studied in uh in unishort for “university” (0:40) there at BrookesOxford Brookes University (0:41), is mostly grammar. There’s not muchVasco’s accent drops the “T” in “not much” (0:44) conversation, There’s not much speaking. There is a fair part of listening but if you don’t get to speak, your listening doesn’t improve that much, I feel. And yeah this this year abroad opportunity is what made me choose the- my major, uh whatever it was called.
José: So you studied Japanese before you came here?
Vasco: Yes. I studied like two years in um, in Brookes uni, so this is my third year.
José: With an eye to doing what with the language? Working in the foreign service, or something like that? Um…
Vasco: No just like uh, the regular undergraduate degree.
José: But why Japanese why not French? I mean…
Vasco: Yeah why not French?
José: You know, French is a European language. Or or, maybe even, obviously English is not a problem for you, but why not- or or say Chinese? Why Japanese?
Vasco: Yeah Chinese. Chinese, that- that was a good option wasn’t it. (Ha ha. Oops) But it it- it wasn’t- it wasn’t in the uni I was applying for. So they had like this opportunity for the year abroad only for French and Japanese. (Uh huh) It wasn’t even that though, because when I applied for uni, I don’t know if you know about that, like when you apply in a univ- in an English university you have to do it through some website called U-C-A-S, UCAS. So like you apply to that, and then they like, send the application to different unis and (Mm hmm) at you can apply at most to five unis if I’m not wrong. (Really) So I applied for each uni like, a different thing. (OK) So I was having like French and Spanish in Hull University for instance, and Computer Science and Spanish in uh, Exeter or something like that I can’t even remember.
José: This is all so different to me. I mean I mean uh, When did? I graduated in 1987. I graduated- undergrad. (A while ago) So I’m an old man uh compared to you. And all of this is new to me the idea of applying five you- Applying to five universities at a time through the internet. (At once) There was no internet back then.
Vasco: It wasn’t a thing back then. Yeah (That’s right. Yeah) It wasn’t. But like uh, I was just like playing the lottery, basically. So I’ve done every university like, different thing. And each university like different one, different place. Birmingham, Liverpool, Hull, Exeter, (Uh huh) Oxford. And the only uni that got back to me was Oxford. So it wasn’t even much of my choice. But I think at that that time, that’s what I wanted.
What don’t you like about your university?
How do you think university will change in the future?
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José Domingo Cruz
Vancouver, British Columbia
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