マウントユニオン大学研修 帰国







What can happen in 12 days? It’s not even a full two weeks, but it’s more than enough time for minds to expand, bonds to grow, bridges to be built, and lives to be changed forever for the better. 

This was my third time to accompany our Jogakuin students to the University of Mount Union. As challenging as it is for them to deal with the jet lag, a fully English immersive homestay, and a schedule packed with academic classes and cultural activities, the emotional and intellectual rewards are more than they could ever have imagined when they first signed up last fall. 

I love this program for how it celebrates legacy, nurtures self-confidence, and promotes the power of generosity. 

This year marked the 11th year to conduct the program. It was our current Jogakuin Senior High School Vice-Principal Chinobu Takami and University of Mount Union Sociology professor Dr. Naoko Oyabu-Mathis (retired) who first conceived of the program as a way to celebrate the connections between our two schools. Both Vice-Principal Takami and Dr. Oyabu-Mathis are Jogakuin graduates. Additionally, Dr. Oyabu-Mathis was a Murakami scholar. Ms. Yoshino Murakami was a Jogakuin alumna who graduated from the University of Mount Union. Mount Union’s Yoshino Murakami scholarship ensures that every four years, a Jogakuin graduate will have the opportunity to study at the University of Mount Union and carry on Ms. Murakami’s legacy of sharing goodwill, Hiroshima Jogakuin’s message of peace, and greater cultural understanding between America and Japan. 

All ten of this year’s students were motivated by curiosity and a desire for self-improvement. They all learned so much by living with generous volunteer families who shared their homes and hearts, attending classes (such as Social Justice, Gender, Religion, and Japanese classes), giving presentations about Hiroshima and Jogakuin, making school visits, and much more that students have written about in previous posts. 

This program challenged the participants to be extraordinarily brave by going well beyond their comfort zones. The Alliance, Ohio, community and the University of Mount Union faculty, staff, and students made a lasting impact on our students and I hope they will, in turn, be remembered well. Each of the participants showed great courage in meeting the challenges of the program and I could not be more proud of them.     F.S.