I was born in Hiroshima, in the west of Japan. There are a lot of forests in my neighborhood, so many people think of it as the “countryside.” I love the nature of Hiroshima, and it has always fueled me. Surrounded by the sound of wind, frogs, and the textures of leaves, this green heals my heart. I feel that nature always tells me, “You can do that, just challenge yourself.”
This is my original background. I love my hometown of Hiroshima. However, before the Stanford e-Japan Program, I was just a girl born in the countryside. In other words, participating in this program has totally changed my life. It was a new gateway to my future—it was the gateway to a whole new world.
I was very nervous at the beginning of this program because the other students were so fluent in English. I was not confident in my English, so I hesitated to open my mouth. However, I realized this was such a precious chance to talk with other students with various backgrounds and interesting perspectives. Then, I started to communicate with them more and more.
By the end of this program, I learned about others’ views from discussion boards and made friends with them through our group assignments and by chatting with them via Zoom after the virtual classrooms. Most of them dreamed of working abroad and attending universities in foreign countries. Our dreams were diverse, but all of them had their aspirations. The more and more we got to know each other, the broader and broader my own world became. I started to think about learning abroad. I realized it was meaningful to study abroad with students from other countries to understand Japan and the world. The other students were so good at English that I was motivated to develop my skills, too.
Professors who are leaders in their fields provided brilliant classes in sociology, gender studies, and so on. This course allowed students to take classes from them and ask them questions directly. This is one of the most wonderful aspects of this program.
My area of interest is the problems people with disabilities encounter. Therefore, “Gender, Equity, and Equality” and “Civil and Human Rights: The Martin Luther King, Jr. Legacy” were the most impressive topics for me. Those classes fired my interest in gender and human rights studies. I was able to deepen my thoughts through the discussion boards.
On Japan Day, which took place at Stanford University on August 7, 2023, I talked with Stanford professors, all of whom welcomed us warmly. I made friends with the award winners of the Reischauer Scholars Program as well as ones from e-Japan. I cannot help but hope to visit Stanford again.
After graduating high school in Hiroshima, I entered the University of Tokyo and am now studying sciences. Next year, I plan to proceed to the School of Integrated Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine. I want to research the health status of people with disabilities in Japan. I am really fascinated to study it at this university.
In the future, I would like to contribute to realizing health equity in the world. I want to study abroad to learn more about public health in the U.S. This is my dream, which began during Stanford e-Japan.
For more information about the Stanford e-Japan Program, please visit stanfordejapan.org. The application period for the spring 2024 session will begin November 15, 2023.