University News | March 29, 2019
The Modern Japanese Studies Program (MJSP) welcomed its first batch of graduates on Monday, March 25th, 2019. The 7 graduates first attended the university-wide graduation in the morning and then received a more personal graduation ceremony and reception shortly after.
“We are very proud of them, and are tremendously grateful for their hard work,” remarked Associate Professor Hironori Sasada, who acts as MJSP Coordinator. “We want our graduates to become the bridge between Japan and their home country, and to use the knowledge and skills they learned in this program to make great contributions to society.”
The MJSP is Hokkaido University’s bilingual Bachelor’s Degree program in Japanese studies. Although the field of Japanese studies developed outside of Japan, the MJSP offers the advantage of allowing students to study it while at the same time living and experiencing Japan. It is also an interdisciplinary program, working together with the faculties of letters, law, education, and economics to give their students a truly unique yet challenging academic experience.
“The MJSP was a very enriching experience,” said Chao Ping Lai, one of the graduates from the U.S. “The program focused on both linguistics and academic rigor, and encouraged us to take classes with other Japanese students at the university.”
Another graduate, Kelly Saori Maemura, also from the U.S., reflected on her experience: “I made some great friends and memories, and it has always been my dream to be bilingual. My grand-parents are Japanese, and now I can communicate with them!”
This first graduation ceremony marks an important milestone for the MJSP. The program is looking forward to continuing to develop not only their curricula and activities, but also their students to become truly global and ambitious citizens connecting their home country and Japan, and beyond.
Written by Katrina-Kay Alaimo, Ph.D.