A former Wiltshire College & University Centre student is celebrating the publication of his first book chronicling his experiences living and working in Japan.
Tom Fitzmaurice studied A-Levels in Geography, English Language and Literature and Communication Studies at the College’s Salisbury campus between 1999 and 2001.
Since leaving the College, Tom has travelled to many different corners of the globe, including spending four years teaching in Japan. It is this which provides the inspiration for his book ‘Canned Coffee and Kimonos’ – a memoir of his time in Tokyo.
Tom explained: “Immediately after leaving College I went on a gap year in Canada where I worked in a care village for children.
“I then went to the University of Southampton where I studied a BA in Geography. After university, I did a Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (CELTA) course and taught English in Japan for four years.
“I was bored and wanted adventure. I initially decided to go to China but got persuaded to try Japan instead.
“I didn't intend to write a book per se. I wanted to write down my memories of living in Japan in case I forgot them. After writing them down, I realised others may find it interesting. I had never really thought about writing a book until I actually did it but I have always loved reading.”
Tom, now 38, has continued working as a teacher since returning to England and looks back on his own education at the College fondly.
He said: “When I came back to England, I did a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) course and became a primary school teacher. In the last few years, I have done a mixture of supply teaching, English language teaching and writing.
“I am from Salisbury so I chose to study at the College because it was a convenient location but I enjoyed my time there and being challenged to think differently.”
For more information on ‘Canned Coffee and Kimonos’ or to purchase a copy, click here.
Wiltshire College & University Centre has launched a new Alumni Network to celebrate the success of our former students as well as provide the opportunity for those who have left to reconnect with the College.
If you have a story you’d like us to celebrate, email firstname.lastname@example.org and help us share your success - and be sure to join our new Alumni Network here.