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Do as the Provençaux do

-Myriam Jacobs

Shoko Kizawa is enjoying the full experience of life in France. (Click to view larger version...)
Shoko Kizawa is enjoying the full experience of life in France.
Shoko playing tourist in Avignon. (Click to view larger version...)
Shoko playing tourist in Avignon.
Shoko Kizawa is enjoying the food, weather and customs in Provence, following the example of all the locals. And she should! Her arrival at ITER is really a dream come true, a dream she has had since she beginning her studies - to work for a major international organization.

After one year as an exchange student in the US (Kansas), Shoko went on to graduate with a BA in Policy Studies specializing in cultural differences from the Chuo University in Tokyo. She spent eight years working as an Administrative Officer for different research institutes in Japan: the RIKEN Yokohama Institute, the J-PARC Centre and the Takasaki Advanced Radiation Research Institute, and the last two years at the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA).

It was through the JAEA that she first heard about ITER and the opportunity of moving to France. "To me," says Shoko, "working for ITER meant working with intelligent and fascinating people from different countries and making myself useful to this marvellous project."

It was also an opportunity to discover many new things. Shoko was so busy at her former job that she hardly had time to consider the challenges that would come with moving to Provence: the language, the people, the customs. Now that she has spent some time in France, she happily confirms that coming here was the best decision of her life.

At ITER, Shoko is the secretary for the Technical Integration Division of the Office for Central Integration and Engineering. She is one of two non-European secretaries on staff. Among other things, her job consists of organizing business trips, welcoming newcomers and visitors, preparing for meetings, entering purchase requests into the system and keeping up with contract executions.

In her new life in Provence, she enjoys the tastes and flavours of French cuisine and is trying to learn the language as best she can. A lot of her spare time has been dedicated to setting up her home and learning the language, but she hopes that soon she will be able to get back to her usual hobbies: cycling, hiking and travelling. In the meantime, she is enjoying the full experience of life in France... just as the Provençaux do!


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