Student Spotlight on Aden Jibril: Greenheart Travel’s Correspondent in Japan

Student Spotlight on Aden Jibril: Greenheart Travel’s Correspondent in Japan

Greenheart Travel is excited to send a group of amazing high school students to language camps overseas as part of our 2016 Travel Correspondent Scholarship awards. To help introduce our inspiring writers, we are doing a series of spotlight interviews to help you get to know a little more about who they are, where they will be headed and what inspired them to learn a new language abroad.

Read on to meet 15-year-old, Aden Jibril, our Greenheart Travel Correspondent from Oakland, California who’ll be traveling to Fukuoka for his summer language camp in Japan!


Favorite thing to do in your free time?

I like to read fantasy novels, make pastries, and watch TV (mostly Game of Thrones, historical dramas, and anime). I also enjoy Kpop and watching Korean variety shows.

A sample of freshly baked pastries.

Have you traveled abroad before?

I’ve traveled to Ethiopia, Kenya, Japan, and Mexico when I was very young. Of all the countries I went to, I liked Japan the most.

What got you interested in learning Japanese and traveling to Japan?

I’m embarrassed to say this, but manga was the first thing that got my attention at an early age. Now that I’m older, I have come to be fond of the beautiful language that is Japanese, and have seen the magnificent temples. This makes me want to go back and learn more.

What are you most excited about experiencing or seeing during your language camp?

I’m excited to spend time with my host family and go on trips. I also am looking forward to learning about Japanese calligraphy.


Why do you feel it’s important to travel to a new place and learn a new language?

Going to a new place can change how you look at the world, and I think that learning how other people do things can make you see yourself in a more critical light. It can generally make you a better person, if your mind is open to the opportunity.

What are you nervous about as you prepare for your language program?

I’m nervous that my Japanese won’t be good enough and that I will have missed some class activities (my class starts a week earlier). I’m very nervous because Japanese is a very hard language grammatically, and the written language is also super difficult to learn.

How well do you speak Japanese at this point?

I honestly did horribly on the placement test, but I think that my colloquial Japanese might be a tiny bit better.

How do you think you will change the most during your time abroad?

I think I’ll become more polite, and be less lazy. I think I’ll pick up bits of Japanese culture unintentionally and bring them back to America.




Aden-bio-picAden Jibril is 15 years old and lives in Oakland, California. His goal during his language program in Fukuoka, Japan is to “learn to cook at least one Japanese dish, increase my language skill, and to interact well with my host family.” Follow Aden’s adventures in Japan on his weekly blog post updates.


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