Meet the 2016-17 Watanabe Scholars


In the inaugural program year 2016-17, scholarships support Japanese undergraduate students studying abroad in the United States. Please join us in welcoming:


Home Institution: Tohoku University
Study Abroad: University of California, Riverside (Riverside, CA)


Born and raised in Japan, Masumi wants to expand her values and deepen her understanding of America during her year of study in the United States. She wants to become a high school English teacher in the future. She has three goals for her year abroad: improving her English communication skills, studying American teaching methods and finding a way to make learning English enjoyable. Masumi is extremely grateful for the Watanabe Scholarship because after the passing of her father three years ago, despite the hard work of her mother and sister, she still needed financial support to study abroad. She is really excited to meet open-minded people from various backgrounds while in the United States.


Home Institution: Tohoku University
Study Abroad: University of California, Davis (Davis, CA)


Sakura is spending one year studying Community and Regional Development at the University of California, Davis. Sakura thinks one of the most attractive aspects of the exchange is the opportunity to study a field that is more advanced in the United States than it is in Japan. She is excited to return to California where she participated in the TOMODACHI Softbank Summer Leadership program, a five-week program for high school students focused on leadership and regional development. She was inspired by that experience to return to the United States as a college student. Sakura is extremely grateful for this scholarship because it allows her to focus on her studies without having to worry about finances.


Home Institution: Josai International University
Study Abroad: University of California, Riverside (Riverside, CA)


Misaki’s hometown is Onagawa, Miyagi prefecture, one of the towns severely impacted by the tsunami following the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011. After hearing about this scholarship from a teacher, he decided to study in the United States this past March. He is looking forward to improving his English listening and speaking skills. Misaki visited the United States last summer and is interested in experiencing and learning about cultures outside of Japan.


Home Institution: Keio University
Study Abroad: Manhattanville College (Purchase, NY)


Yuri applied for this scholarship to achieve her goal of becoming a socially responsible global leader who contributes to society. She is particularly interested in Social Impact Investment (SII), and wants to study and engage in this field and become a social entrepreneur. She wants to gain a more varied perspective on global social activities, because it is difficult to solve social problems from a purely domestic viewpoint. One of her goals for study abroad is to learn how global business is organized and how people work and cooperate in a diverse environment. She hopes to intern at a leading global company in New York during the year as well. In her spare time she enjoys drawing. She is interested in American art and would like to explore it more in New York.


Home Institution: Keio University
Study Abroad: College of William and Mary (Williamsburg, VA)


Gota is excited to attend William and Mary this academic year. There are three subjects he wants to study: international politics and diplomacy, business, and African studies. He is looking forward to not only the academic aspect, but also the practical experience of living everyday life in the United States. He is planning to learn about different cultures by participating in activities with cultural houses on campus. He thinks he will treasure his study abroad experience, both in and outside of the classroom, for the rest of his life.


Home Institution: Keio University
Study Abroad: Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA)


Marika is a junior at Keio University, majoring in Economics with an emphasis on Finance and Public Policies. While at Keio, she was engaged in AIESEC activities and joined th