IMG_6907Taro Hamano is an IEI student from Tokyo, Japan. His path to IEI was a little different from those of many of his classmates.

He met his wife, who is American, while she was working in his hometown of Tokyo, Japan. After they married, her job took them to Los Angeles and then Nashville. They have a four-year-old son who is fluent in English; however, the family uses only Japanese at home. “Language is very central to identity,” says Taro.

Though his native language is important to him, Taro wanted to improve his English. He asked friends and was told that IEI is best English school in Nashville.

“I had not studied English in 30 years,” says Taro, who is 52 years old. He began at IEI in November and has made steady progress.

“IEI has a very family-like atmosphere,” he says. “The teachers are very close to us. It’s a very good place to study English and focus on learning, including for adult students.”

Taro’s favorite IEI activity is International Lunch. He always makes his young son’s favorite dish, Japanese curry. He also particularly enjoys trying the Arabic foods that his Saudi classmates prepare.

In Tokyo, Taro owned an advertising company. After he completes his studies at IEI, he would like to make a change and study Japanese culture at an American university.