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International Education Week 2022: Meet the students from Sugiyama!

The University of Dayton has had a close partnership with Sugiyama Jogakuen University, a private women’s college in Nagoya, Japan, for many years. As a result of the undergraduate exchange partnership, UD welcomes students every year into the Intensive English Program for language training and cultural exchange. The students are prepared before they travel through workshops and information sessions at their home university, by professors who have expertise in the U.S. university experience in general, and UD in particular. They also hear from students who have participated in the exchange previously. This preparation ensures that the students are ready to join the student body at UD with tools and knowledge to make the experience a great success. Upon return to Japan, the students continue their studies, now with enhanced global and intercultural skills that are essential as they enter their careers, which often take place in international spaces. Though the pandemic made travel impossible in recent years, UD is proud to again host four students from Sugiyama this semester. The students form an active part of the Global Learning Living Community (GLLC), housed in Caldwell Apartments. For International Education Week 2022, we are pleased to share these short profiles of the four students currently on campus, in their own words.

Haruka Kinoshita

My name is Haruka Kinoshita. My major is international communication. And I’m from Japan.

I am currently an exchange student here at UD. I chose UD because I always wanted to study abroad in the US, and it was my dream. I learned about UD in advance in Japan, and I studied English more than what’s usually required. Six months before coming to UD, I started preparing for studying abroad, such as preparing the necessary documents and making detailed plans.

Upon arriving on campus, my first impression of UD was that it is spacious, and the natural surroundings are beautiful. In fact, UD is really big and beautiful with lots of nature, and everyone is very kind.

Currently, I’m studying English grammar, oral communication, reading, vocabulary, and writing at the IEP. It’s true that there are many worries about studying abroad, but I think that you will gain a lot of experience and English skills if you do it. I think these are skills important for living and studying overseas; also, the ability to adapt to the new environment, land, and the ability to cook are important, too. What I look forward to when I return back to Japan is to eat delicious Japanese food.

Eriko Kajikawa

I’m Eriko Kajikawa. My major is International Communication. I’m currently in a student exchange here at University of Dayton. I chose UD because it has a good program to improve my English and I can live in a dormitory. Before entering UD, I learned about what classes I would be taking and how to live in the dormitory. I also studied English in my home country so that I could keep up with my classes as much as possible. When I actually came to UD, I got the impression that it was very spacious. I thought I could get along with people I met for the first time immediately, but actually that wasn’t the case, and it took me a little while to talk to them and get to know them.

I like living in the dorms because I can interact with many different kinds of people. In Japan, I depended on my parents, but I like that in the dorms here I need to do things myself. The other students at UD have helped as well. They are kind and gentle. 

I thought it was a good part of studying internationally to meet people from different countries and learn about many cultures. So, if you have the opportunity to study internationally, I encourage you to give it a try. I think it is very necessary to have good communication skills when living and studying abroad. I look forward to seeing my family when I return home!

Maho Mukai 

My name is Maho Mukai, and I’m from Japan. I study English here at the University of Dayton in their Intensive English Program. I chose the University of Dayton because I thought it would be a rich learning experience, especially when I saw the vast land of Dayton and the UD campus in the materials I reviewed about the University. Before I came to UD, I had many meetings in Japan with my teacher and other international students about UD’s policies and life during study abroad and also by looking at the University’s website and collecting other information.

The first impression of UD I had was the campus is huge; and this made the facilities and systems more useful for students. I am introverted and shy, typical Japanese, but I learned it’s important to actively communicate with people who have different cultures and roots. I strongly recommend studying abroad to anyone who wants to study internationally. This is because I myself realized that there are wonderful things that I can’t learn and experience just by being in my country. To study overseas I think that having motivational skills that actively help you to communicate with others is quite important. If you have these skills, you can greatly improve your English levels. When I go back to Japan, I’d like to eat a lot of Japanese food! 

Yume Katagiri

I’m Yume Katagiri. My major is International Communication. I chose UD because I thought I could communicate with many different people in the dormitory. And I was interested in what dormitory life was like. I also learned about UD from a Japanese university professor. My first impression of UD was that it was a beautiful university with a lot of nature and that it is a very huge place.

I like to do things like watch movies and listen to music in my free time. I especially liked the UD Late Night Movie! What I am learning is English right now. I’m happy to be able to understand words that I didn’t know before. I think that studying abroad is hard work, but there is a lot to gain. The most important thing is to ask anything. And I think it is necessary to ask for help from many people and to believe in yourself. Finally, what I’m looking forward to the most is going back to Japan to see my family.


Thanks to IEP Director Nick Taggart for his assistance with this story.

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