Austen Matsui

Credentials: Japanese FLAS; PhD candidate, Counseling Psychology

As a graduate student in counseling psychology, I hope to use Japanese in my future research in transnational health. Specifically, I hope to examine how psychological instruments and frameworks (such as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) developed in the US are used and adapted to other cultural contexts. This requires me to be able to communicate with other researchers, write professional papers, conduct field interviews, and present at formal conferences.

The FLAS allowed me to study advanced Japanese language in the Tokyo area for a 6-week summer program. It allowed me to experience actual life in Japan in a way that I would not have been able to had I attended a program in the US.

Because the FLAS is so flexible, I was able to select a program that fit my language learning needs at the time of the award. I selected a program that offers advanced language training and also works to help students develop their professional skills in a linguistic and culturally-appropriate manner (for instance, I received training on how to reach out to other academics pursuing research in my field).

Think about how you can use to FLAS to achieve your own meaningful academic or career goals (instead of worrying about meeting certain standards or expectations from an evaluating committee, as we often do when crafting applications). The FLAS can be used in so many unique ways to promote your progression and interest in a language – identify your goals and then think creatively about how the FLAS can help your progress toward them.