Tohoku University welcomed 28 new international undergraduates to the Future Global Leadership (FGL) programme at the 2017 Fall Entrance Ceremony last week.
The students come from 10 different countries including Indonesia, China, Thailand and the Philippines. For the first time, two Japanese students who passed the Global Admissions Exam, will also be taking classes with the FGL students.
In his welcome speech, Professor Kimio Hanawa, the executive vice president for education, student support and student international exchange, described the programme as an example of the university's firm commitment to internationalisation, and urged the students to embrace new experiences in and out of the classroom.
"The university's four large campuses are surrounded by greenery, giving it one of the best learning environments in Japan," said Hanawa. "I have no doubt that here you will gain many friends, build strong character, and work hard on your studies under the guidance of your talented instructors."
Tohoku University's popular exchange programmes attract hundreds of students each year from partner universities around the world. The FGL programme is specifically for undergraduates, and offers three courses taught in English - advanced molecular chemistry (AMC), applied marine biology (AMB) and international mechanical and aerospace engineering (IMAC-U).
Earlier in the week, Tohoku University said goodbye to eight graduating FGL students.
At the farewell reception, the students spoke fondly of their time in Sendai, and described their friends and the university's faculty and staff as "one big family."
"I'm really sad to be leaving because Sendai has been my home for the past four years," said Germaine Lau, an applied marine biology student from Singapore. "When I first came, I was the only one from my country and didn't know what to expect as a foreign student. But all my professors have been supportive and all my friends have been amazing. Over the years we evolved into a family and I never felt alone."
Yiwen Li, an advanced molecular chemistry student from China said that being in Japan was a life-changing experience. "It's all single-child families in China, so I wasn't used to having brothers and sisters around me. Being here I learnt to be humble, to think about others and to help take care of people in the same way that others took care of me when I first came."
Tohoku University considers all students and alumni a part of the family, and wishes them all the best in their next adventures.
Future Global Leadership Office
Tohoku University Student Exchange Division
Tel: +81 22 795 3242