Ohio has a sister state that lies just north of Tokyo, Japan. Saitama Prefecture, with a population of more than 7 million people, is known for having the best weather in Japan and for saké production! The University of Findlay has developed a special bond with this thriving area, sending three students to visit in 2014-15 and hosting three from Saitama Prefecture in 2015-16.
Hiroaki Kawamura, Ph.D., chair, Department of Language and Culture, accompanied the three Saitama students on a courtesy visit to the office of Ohio Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor and JobsOhio before the students left for home in April.
“When our delegation from Findlay went to Japan, the governor of Saitama Prefecture invited us for lunch,” said Kawamura. “We thought we would give our Japanese students a similar experience.” Kawamura added that Japan is the No.1 foreign direct investment country for Ohio, so the Japan connection always involves JobsOhio.
The three visiting students Miyu Tokunaga, Atsunari Isayama and Nobuaki Yagi spent about 30 minutes with the lieutenant governor and did a presentation for JobsOhio senior managers.
“She advised me to continue studying English to prepare myself to become an engineer who can work globally,” said Yagi, referring to Taylor. “Although I am not sure whether I will work in America or not right now, her advice gave me a big impact.”
Isayama, a mechanical engineering student, felt that presenting in front of JobsOhio managers was a great opportunity. “Since the beginning of this internship, I have done so many presentations in English. I believe my skills to discuss engineering issues in English have definitely improved thanks to this Ohio Saitama University Scholarship opportunity,” he said.
Miyu Tokunaga thought that Lt. Governor Taylor was friendly, kind and inspiring. “We shared our experiences with her and she shared her vision and personal experiences with us,” added Tokunaga.
Arriving in August 2015, the students from Saitama Prefecture spent the entire 2015-16 academic year at UF.