Eight students have received the prestigious Global Hagi Scholarship for 2022, as they each prepare to study abroad at one of Tohoku University's partner institutions.
At the ceremony - held on December 12 at Katahira campus - Tohoku University President Hideo Ohno congratulated the recipients and shared anecdotes of his own experiences as a foreign student and researcher.
He encouraged the students to make the most of their time abroad, to not only study hard in their classes, but to also embrace new cultures and different ways of living and thinking. "Being in an unfamiliar environment might be challenging, but the personal growth and global mindset that you will gain, will serve you well for the rest of your life."
Kohato Suzuki, a third-year student at the Faculty of Arts and Letters, gave a speech on behalf of the recipients.
Suzuki, who is majoring in Japanese language education, said that she hopes to eventually work abroad as a Japanese teacher.
"I came to realize that there is a gap between the Japanese language learnt in class and the Japanese used in real life," she said. "During my study abroad, I would like to visit not only university classes but also local Japanese language classes, to look for ways to reduce that gap."
She said that the experience of being a foreigner while studying abroad should give her a better perspective to be able to design Japanese language classes with real life applications. This, she added, "will help strengthen the ties between international students and local communities in Japan, so everybody can feel integrated and appreciated."
Following the ceremony, the students had a chance to talk informally with the president and other professors, to get more personal advice and encouragement.
The Global Hagi Scholarship is supported by the Tohoku University Fund, and awarded to students with excellent academic records who are also deemed to be good ambassadors for the university.
Since the programme began in 2010, about 170 Global Hagi scholarships have been awarded.
Student Exchange Division