First of all, it was an honor to be a member of the International volunteer work. This was a new experience for me, and I also had the opportunity to work with many foreigners. This experience has helped me grow as a person and learn about other cultures and views. I am now able to apply this practical knowledge to my everyday life, such as educating those around me about the differences between Japanese culture and the culture of foreign countries.
I was one of the Hotel Staff volunteer and my task was to register competitors, coaches, and ISU officials. I gave them some information and souvenirs regarding the Championship. As an “International Volunteer”, I was representing my country. This means that my service and behavior would be a reflection of the teachings and values that my country holds. During my volunteer work, I realized that I needed to be very friendly and approachable so that people would feel comfortable enough to ask me questions. As much as I enjoyed this experience, I also felt very overwhelmed and tired. This is because on some days, I worked till midnight despite my shift being over. However, this was a good learning experience for me because I learned to adopt new working habits, such as being flexible with my time, so that the event runs smoothly and efficiently. Also, another meaningful experience for me was being able to use my Taiwanese speaking skills. For example, I was able to translate words and sentences into Japanese and Taiwanese, which was very beneficial for other volunteers and staff members.
As an International volunteer, I was able to witness people from North Korea take part in this championship, too. I was really impressed to see South Korean skaters cooperate with North Koreans at the event. Because of modern news about North Korea, I had negative stereotypes about the country. However, all the participants were very respectful and professional towards each other. This experience was very eye opening because I realized that we are all connected to each other, as we are all humans and have the same emotions. This event was a success not only because of workers and volunteers, but also because of spectators from all over the world. Everyone cooperated with each other and supported all the participants with applauses and encouraging words. We were able to end the event successfully because of respect, teamwork, and mutual understanding. I am confident to say that communication and being open minded is the key to a healthy and growing society.