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Japanese Contingent Visits
Tochigi Prefecture Group Lauds Campus Changes
A September visit to Trine University by a contingent from Tochigi Prefecture in Japan continued to strengthen a partnership between Trine and Tochigi prefecture schools.
Trine University President Earl Brooks II, left, Assistant Section Chief Junichi Kouzaki of Tochigi Prefecture in Japan, Trine international student coordinator Mari Williams, and Director Masashi Kuwana of the prefecture discuss an education exchange.
Officials from the Japanese prefecture and the university framed a formal plan for the partnership in March 2007, when university President Earl D. Brooks II and Senior Vice President Michael Bock traveled to Indiana’s official sister state in Japan to sign an agreement of international cooperation with Hakuoh University’s Vice President Joji Kamioka.
The agreement established a program through which qualified students from either university can study in a cooperative exchange for a prescribed period of time. It also allows well qualified faculty members from both institutions to teach and perform scholarly work in a similar exchange.
Just over a year ago, President Brooks visited Japan to announce a $10,000 scholarship proposal for students from Tochigi Prefecture. His commitment to establishing exchange programs with universities around Tochigi intrigued prefecture Gov. Tomikazu Fukuda to request his representatives from the International Affairs Division to make the September visit to Trine.
The university’s recent campus revitalization impressed Director Masashi Kuwana and Assistant Section Chief Junichi Kouzaki, who expressed admiration for the new facilities and Trine’s growing English as a second language (ESL) program. Hospitality shown by Trine administration, students, faculty and staff intensified the Japanese visitors’ motivation to promote Trine University’s scholarship to universities around Tochigi Prefecture.
“This beautiful campus is not only a great study environment for students, but a great atmosphere to make lifelong friends,” Kuwana said. Next year marks the 10-year anniversary of the sister-state relationship between Tochigi Prefecture and Indiana. “What a great opportunity to re-announce our enthusiasm to promote Trine’s scholarship for our local students,” Kuwana said. “We will most certainly celebrate our history, but let us celebrate our future as well.”
Kuwana and Kouzaki extended an invitation for President Brooks to participate in the 10-year anniversary celebration of the sister-state relationship. “I wish I were a student again, but since that is not possible, I hope to send many Japanese students to Trine University. This will be a life-changing experience for them, I’m sure,” Kuwana said.