Artwork for podcast Jandals in Japan
Partnerships in Education: New Zealand and Japan collaborations with Misa Kitaoka
Episode 539th July 2024 • Jandals in Japan • Jayne Nakata & Catherine O'Connell
00:00:00 00:52:17

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Misa Kitaoka is the Director of Education at Education New Zealand (ENZ) in Japan. She shares her experiences and insights into fostering educational exchanges between New Zealand and Japan. Misa highlights the role of lifelong learning and the changing dynamics of Japanese education that will surely influence what education exchange between New Zealand and Japan looks like in the future. We are also lucky to hear about Misa's memorable experiences during the recent visit to Japan of the New Zealand Prime Minister and the business delegation. 

If you enjoyed this episode and it inspired you in some way, we’d love to hear about it and know your biggest takeaway. Head over to Apple Podcasts to leave a review and we’d love it if you would come and say hi (or Kia Ora or Konnichi Wa!) over on @jandalsinjapan on Instagram.

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • The importance of the concept and depth of responsibility in Japan
  • How Misa came to be helping New Zealand to create lasting relationships in the education space
  • Misa’s top advice for educators in New Zealand wanting to have Japanese students visit
  • Lifelong learning as a potential business opportunity

About Misa

Misa Kitaoka who is based in Tokyo and is currently serving as the Director of Education for Japan at Education New Zealand (ENZ). 

With her market expertise and network, Misa is committed to growing the New Zealand education market in Japan market. 

She enjoys the opportunity and challenge in utilising her multicultural background and language skills to strengthen education and cultural ties between Japan and New Zealand.

Prior to ENZ, Misa worked for the Australian and New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Japan as their Executive Director. There she was responsible for the promotion of and advocacy for Australian and New Zealand corporations in Japan. Misa has also worked in a wide range of finance roles as a CPA in the United States.

Misa graduated with a BA in economics from Stanford University and a Masters in liberal studies at Columbia University. Misa sits on the board of directors of the Stanford Japan Alumni Association and is also an active member of the Stanford alumni group in New Zealand.

Since 2021, Misa has been the partner of New Zealand Ambassador to Japan, Hamish Cooper. In addition to her role as ENZ's representative in Japan, Misa is an active participant in the Tokyo diplomatic community.

Misa is very passionate about supporting the growth of NZ education and lifestyles in Japan and has an Instagram page @misako_kitaoka where you can always find her sharing her life, career and aspects about Japan and New Zealand life and culture.


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