IEC student spotlight: Hiroshi Arashida

Hiroshi Arashida dreams of opening his own Asian-style spa. He knows he needs to improve his English skills to achieve his dream. That’s why he started taking classes at the International Education Center last April.

Hiroshi moved from Japan to Chicago in 2010, and came to Minnesota last November. He chose to take classes at the IEC because of its downtown location. He currently lives in New Hope, which is several miles from downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul. He wanted to attend a school that was in the center of the city so he could learn more about downtown life. He also liked the fact that there were many classes to choose from at the IEC and most of them are free.

He is attending classes five days a week to improve his basic grammar skills. Hiroshi says the teachers are very helpful and answer his questions. He also likes learning about American culture. For example, his class spent several weeks studying American government. He didn’t know much about American government and enjoyed finding out how it works. 

Hiroshi has also learned a lot about other cultures during his time at the IEC. He has met many people from Somalia and learned about their culture. “I had never talked to Somali people before I came to this school,” he says.

Hiroshi says he would recommend the IEC to other immigrants because it is convenient and free. “You can find classes that fit in your schedule,” he says. “This is important for many people who have jobs.”