Are The Benefits Of An Oregon-Asia Friendship Fully Realized?

Exports to Asia from the Pacific Northwest are one of the main reasons behind Oregon’s economic health as of 2011. Oregon’s largest trading partners are China and Japan, and many freshly-graduated college students find fascinating business opportunities by going overseas and working in Japan. Whether professional translation services are needed or not, these experiences are what make a relationship with Oregon’s Asian neighbors across the ocean so worthwhile.

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There are many people affiliated with Oregon – and especially Lewis & Clark College – who have recently risen to become business leaders in Asia. Respective cities in Korea, China, and Japan have sister-city friendships with Portland. A Lewis & Clark student who graduated a year ago is now in Japan as a resident, employed as an account executive for a job-finding service that provided bilingual translation services. A senior at the college who was born in Japan, is moving back soon and has found employment with a prominent Japanese company that produces educational materials.

Jobs are hard enough to come by these days, especially for young college graduates. However, by thinking beyond the borders of your own country in terms of opportunity, the job challenges are slightly smaller. Even though the prospect of moving to a new country may seem daunting, and needing to use services for business translation are equally as intimidating, thinking globally for career options is looking like a good choice for Oregon residents.

Commerce and Ideas Go Both Ways

Besides Portland’s sister-cities, sixteen other communities in Oregon also have affiliations in Japan. Tokyo’s Waseda University has had a 40-year affiliation with Lewis & Clark College. Both professors and students from each college provide opportunities for international study. Oregon’s products and produce are transported to Korea, China, and Japan regularly, and range from hazelnuts to computer chips and chemicals. In Oregon, you can easily access Chinese translation, unlike some other states. Portland’s public schools have Mandarin Chinese classes available, and a Trans-Pacific Partnership is being pursued by U.S. Trade officials.

It can never be said that what happens in Asia doesn’t affect the Pacific NW, or vice versa. The cultures, careers, talent, and economic ventures are shared every day. It would be a shame for Oregon to waste the opportunities that come from their unique Asian relationships. Even students who aren’t bilingual should still take advantage of the benefits. After all, professional translation services are readily available, even oversees.

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