As part of JCMU’s partnership with local Shiga Prefecture universities, every year our Consortium schools host Japanese students attending Shiga University (ShigaDai) or the University of Shiga Prefecture (USP). We reached out to Maho Osamura, a Shiga University student currently attending the University of Michigan-Dearborn, about how her current study abroad experiences are going.
What city/prefecture/country are you from?
I’m from Omihachiman City, Shiga Prefecture in Japan.
What is one thing you would like to share about your home city/country?
My hometown is regionally famous for being richly endowed with nature. It also has local landmarks such as Hachimanbori, and a lot of famous movies and dramas were shot there. (滋賀県近江八幡市出身です)
What are you currently studying, and what do you want to do after graduation?
My major is Economics. After graduation from Shiga University, I’d like to get into a graduate school in the United States. This is why I decided to study in the U.S. as an exchange student for one year. Studying in Michigan is the first step to my future academic goals.
How has your time as a University of Michigan-Dearborn student been? Is there anything that surprised you?
My new life is very exciting thanks to the sweet and courteous friends I made. They are very happy to help me out as I adjust to life in the U.S. Many of the Americans I have met are interested in learning more about Japan and studying Japanese language, which fills me with pride as a Japanese citizen. Many people love sushi and ask me to help make it together with them. I had no idea that sushi was such a popular food in the U.S.
What would you say to other Japanese students considering studying abroad in Michigan?
Don’t be afraid! If you have a chance to come in Michigan, don’t pass it up. Studying abroad is never easy. However, if you are truly determined to do it and have a strong will, you will succeed no matter what path you take.
Before studying in Michigan, it would be wise to improve your English language skills as much as possible. It was difficult for me to get used to communicating in English with the people in the U.S.
We would like to thank Osamura-san for sharing her experiences with us. As any student who has studied abroad can tell you, studying in another country can be a lot of different things—fun, surprising, stressful, exciting—often all at once! Yet it is always life-changing and worth the effort. We wish Osamura-san the best in her future travels and studies, and hope that you will be inspired by her story.