Konnichiwa! My name is Shalisha Witherspoon, and I’m currently a senior majoring in IT (Software development track) and minoring in Japanese Language and Literature at Florida International University (FIU) I also work at FIU as an Undergraduate Researcher for the High Performance Database Research Center. I’m one of six children, and I happen to be a twin! I was also homeschooled my entire life. My interests include drawing, video games, programming, and above all, Japanese!

Ever since I was a child, I was fascinated with Japanese culture thanks to TV and comic books. As my interest grew, I learned to draw in the Japanese art style and created my own comics. Soon afterwards, I began researching Japanese history and culture, and finally, I began studying the language. After formally studying Japanese for 2 years, I will finally fulfill a life-long dream and study Japanese in Japan this summer! The school I will be attending is Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan, where I will complete my Japanese language studies and take a culture class fully in Japanese! Even better, I will be going abroad with my identical twin sister! This will be my first time out of the country, so I’m grateful to have been blessed to experience this amazing opportunity with my twin! I hope to one day work for a software company in Japan, particularly Nintendo since I’m studying game programming and have grown up playing their games; studying abroad will help me get one step closer to reaching that goal! I look forward to sharing my amazing experience in Japan!

Journal entries by Shalisha