On June 29, the TOMODACHI Sumitomo Corporation Scholarship Program scholarship participants and other guests attended a post-study abroad presentation and award ceremony.
At the homecoming student presentation session, nine students from the ninth cohort (fall 2022 to summer 2023) shared their study abroad experiences and their roles in the U.S.-Japan relationship. “I want to contribute to the Japan and the U.S. relationship as an educator,” said Moeko Yamada, a student from the Faculty of Education at Nagoya University who pursued educational studies at Southern Illinois University. “I want to make my class comfortable for students to speak up freely like in the United States. Education can be the first step to change our society. I should adopt the U.S. education style so that students can share their feelings and experiences in the classroom.”
After the students’ presentations, Joshua Gonzalez (U.S. Embassy in Tokyo) and Hirokazu Higashino (Sumitomo Corporation) provided feedback on each presentation.
During the award ceremony, Masayuki Hyodo (Sumitomo Corporation) and USJC President and CEO Suzanne Basalla delivered words of encouragement to the students. After receiving the certificates from Mr. Hyodo, the ten students from the tenth cohort, who will begin their study abroad this autumn, each presented their goals in English. Eriko Shigetsugu, a student from Hokkaido University who will be studying computer science at Washington University, exclaimed, “I would like to experience the culture of Seattle, the cutting-edge IT city, as well as gain an objective view of myself through interactions with other international students.”
On the following day, the ninth and tenth student cohorts participated in a joint training session. Through activities that involved physical movement and interactive ice-breakers, the participants deepened their connections with one another. Students from the ninth cohort shared their study abroad experiences – the enjoyable and the challenging. Students from the tenth cohort took the opportunity to ask various questions about classes, daily life and extracurricular activities at their respective study abroad destinations. Following in the footsteps of previous program participants, they are expected to become bridges between Japan and the United States through their program experiences.
To see more photos from the event, click here.