When Izumi Kane came from Japan to the United States in 2002, she couldn’t speak English well, but knew she had to do something to support her family of four children and husband, who is unable to work. When a friend gave her the phone number for Globe University in Sioux Falls, S.D., she called and was enrolled in the massage therapy diploma program.
“I had no confidence because I couldn’t speak English very well,” says Izumi. “But the staff and teachers were so friendly, helpful and encouraging, and the school had a warm atmosphere. I was surprised that everybody knew my name!”
Izumi has a certificate for massage in her home country but can’t work in the U.S. without proper schooling. She says it was a lot more difficult than she expected.
“I didn’t know I had to study anatomy and physiology,” she says. “There were a lot times I wanted to quit.”
Izumi says her husband and kids supported her along the way, even leaving her notes of encouragement in her backpack. Her instructors also helped her keep going. She says she would never imagine sending an email to a teacher in Japan because it’s such a different culture.
“I was scared to ask questions,” says Izumi. “But when I asked for help they were very willing to help me.”
Izumi didn’t give up, and she graduated in September of 2014. Izumi says that has been her biggest accomplishment and something she is most proud of. It shows just how far she’s come with her English, too, as she was the speaker at her graduation ceremony.
Next, Izumi will take the test to get her massage therapy license, and after working with someone to get more experience, would like to have her own business someday.
“I want a place with my own Asian style,” she says. “And I want to help others.”
Visit the Globe University massage therapy program page to learn more.