High School Students to Japan: Student application

Xander Butler  (Boy)

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Contact information
Family information:

Parent / guardian: Lewis Butler
Parent / guardian: Kris Butler

Street Address:

Denver, CO

Personal information

High school: East High School Denver
Graduates in: 2016
Birthday (yyyy/mm/dd): 1997/10/23



Japanese teacher: Asako Tsutsui
  email: asako_tsutsui@dpsk12.org
  phone: 720-423-8348

First reference: Nick Gallagher
  email: nickdgallagher@gmail.com
  phone: 1-410-487-1148

Second reference: Samantha Katopodes
  email: Samantha.Katopodes@unco.edu
  phone: 720-277-7248


Allergies or medical concerns:

Allergic to cats.

Hobbies and special interests:

Video games, history, listening to music, languages(I'm learning FIVE), reading.

School and community activities:

I was in the theatre club up until this year. I never ended up in any shows, but I ushered for most of them.

I'm not sure if this falls under this category, but I attended the Summer Enrichment Program at the UNC campus for five years. It's a summer camp for Gifted and Talented children. Both of my references are the councilors for my final year there.

Special achievements:

I'm part of the International Thespian Society as of sophomore year.

I also got into the Leadership Enrichment Program, which is the upper level of the camp I mentioned in the last section. Kind of like the mid-point between the campers and the councilors. They're juniors and seniors with leadership potential, and they spend the two weeks in a cabin together, with little sleep, trying to make camp a better experience for the younger campers.

Trip-related background
  • Japanese language ability:
    • Conversation: Basic
    • Reading: Intermediate
    • Writing: Intermediate



  • Previous travel experience:
    • Driven across the country (i.e., to the east coast and back) multiple times, but have only been outside of the country twice: Once when I was about three to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and once last year to Vancouver, Canada.



What I like about Japan / Japanese culture:

Japan is similar enough to the west that it's easy to learn about, but different enough that it's interesting.

I'm mostly interested in the culture culture, as opposed to pop culture, though, I am interested in that as well, as you'll see in a minute. I specifically like the religion and the samurai. Not entirely sure why, I just find them both really interesting.

And, of course, there's the pop culture, which is to say, anime and video games. A good 40-75% of the games I play were made in Japan, and (almost) every console I've owned was from a Japanese company.

What I hope to get from this adventure:

Japanese proficiency, travel experience, and with any luck a better understanding of Japanese history than I have right now. I have yet to find anything informative that won't put me to sleep.