The Obuchi Student Experience: Alumni Perspectives



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Rika Teruya
(Asian Studies, 2001-03)

"There are two major things one can learn while you stay at the East-West Center through the Obuchi Program. The most important thing is the academic study that enhances one’s knowledge and the opportunity to realize your plans for the future. Another important matter is the multi-cultural experience while you spend your time at the East-West Center. These experiences will certainly open your horizons to see the world and Okinawa differently." Read full testimonial (pdf)



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Megumi Chibana
(Political Science, 2009-11)

"The East West Center has provided me wonderful opportunities to meet scholars and professionals from various cultural and professional backgrounds and to share interdisciplinary perspectives. Experiences at the East-West Center definitely broaden my perspective and helped me to build networks with future leaders of Asia Pacific region. I have benefited from being part of the Obuchi student scholarship program and the East-West Center which helped me understand the real meaning of citizen diplomacy."



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Shinichi Nozaki
(Law, 2004-06)

"I am at foremost grateful to the the East-West Center for opening doors of opportunities for my life; but I am equally grateful to the institution for exposing me to horizons and perspectives that I had never been aware of, enriching me in person.  I believe from my experiences that the Obuchi Program will serve as a vital pillar for the future of Okinawa, precisely because it offers students of Okinawan background like me the opportunity to experience and grow, both professionally and personally, from this truly unique cultural ecosystem flourishing on the crossroad between East and West. There is so much to give back and it is my hope that I, along with my colleagues, can be the catalyst for solutions to issues faced by the prefecture in the future.


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Kozue Uehara
(Sociology, 2005-07)

"The East-West Center Obuchi Student Scholarship Program gave me valuable experience of having friendships with students and scholars from all over the world. I believe that what I learned about their hometowns expanded my understanding of the world, which eventually encouraged me to continue Ph.D program in Japan. My experience at the EWC has helped me to envision how my hometown in Okinawa could build ties with those regions/countries in the future."



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Kohei Yamazato
(Sociology, 2007-09)

"The students from Okinawa are committed to establishing a solid foundation for the development and betterment of Okinawa, Japan and the U.S. They have the ability to utilize concurrent and future human resources and social networks of Okinawa, Japan and the U.S. They have dynamic perspectives and views that they have obtained through their stay and studies at the East-West Center and will take a lead for this agenda in the future."




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Isoko Ganeko
(Asia Pacific Leadership Program, 2007-2008)

"Deepening the understanding about issues of the world and the care for others, the East-West Center provided me an exceptional learning environment and experiences to build leadership skills.  Let's bring our hands together and challenge what we can do for our island and our neighbors."






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Naho Ishiki
(Second Language Studies, 2008-2009)

"The East-West Center enriches cultural sensitivity and flexibility. Active discussion among Obuchi scholars is very stimulating, eye-opening, and inspiring which raises awareness on a variety of issues. The EWC-Obuchi network transcends national/cultural boundaries."






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Kinuko Maehara Yamazato
(Sociology, 2003-05)

"The most delightful experience while studying in Hawai‘i was my encounters with people with various cultural backgrounds. Living in a dorm with students from the Asia–Pacific regions opened my eyes to appreciating more of the culture of where they and I come from. After receiving my M.A. in Sociology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, with a focus on race and ethnic relation studies, I continued my studies, pursuing my Ph.D. in the same program. I hope that the Obuchi Student Scholarship Program and the students who study in the program will commit to helping to create more just societies for not only the people in Okinawa but for the people around the world."


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Kazufumi Taira
(Educational Psychology, 2010-2012)

"I am a second-year East-West Center Obuchi Scholarship fellow in a doctoral program, at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Department of Educational Psychology. My lasting EWC impression is its diversity of cultures and world views.  Obuchi members have experiences of diversity at EWC, gives them a good insight of the world, as well as a profound understanding of Okinawa."





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Junko Itokazu
(Asia Pacific Leadership Program, 2009-1010)

"The East-West Center provided the opportunity to meet with future leaders from 30 different countries.  Obuchi scholars would help us envision the future of Okinawa.  After the Asia Pacific Leadership Program, we've established a NPO to support human resource development project.  Hope we can make a difference!"





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Fujiko Uehara
(Library & Information Science, 2003-2005)

"My life at the East-West Center was really fun, intellectual and memorable. You will never get a similar experience in any university in the United States. The Obuchi Program can contribute to enhancing human resources in Okinawa by providing educational and training opportunities throughout various programs and sharing international experiences with other students all over the world."