30 Years, 30 Stories

JCMU 30 Years, 30 Stories

It’s JCMU’s 30th anniversary! To celebrate 30 years of students exploring Hikone, Shiga Prefecture, we will be posting a new JCMU alumni story every Thursday from February 15th through September 6th, 2018.

Finding love abroad? Going on to work for a Japanese company? Writing for the official One Piece website?!? From fun misadventures to the professional benefits study abroad gave them, discover just some of the amazing stories our past students have in store for you!

Are you a JCMU alum interested in telling your own JCMU story? Then we’d love to hear from you! Please contact us at media@jcmu.org for more information.


snap-judgement-get-together.jpgA Mosaic of Experiences
Glynn Washington, 1989-90

How has study abroad changed you? For our first installment in the “30 Years, 30 Stories” series, read the story of 1989-90 alum Glynn Washington, and learn how his time in Hikone pushed him to truly experience the world we all live in.


stott-5.jpgBecoming Family
David Stott, 1990-91

Have you bonded with one person in Japan so much that you became family? For our second installment in the “30 Years, 30 Stories” series, read the story of 1990-91 alum David Stott, and learn how his time at Sugimoto’s helped cement his love of Japan.


8.jpgLove in Shiga
Gary Wroblewski, 1991-92

Have you ever found love in Shiga? For our third installment in the “30 Years, 30 Stories” series, read the story of 1991-92 alum Gary Wroblewski, and learn how his time at JCMU led him to find his love of Hikone, and the love of his life.


chanpon-near-campus.jpgFrom JCMU to Living in Japan
Ian Whiters, 2009-10

Did your time studying abroad catapult you to living abroad? For our fourth installment in the “30 Years, 30 Stories” series, read the story of 2009-10 alum Ian Whiters, and learn how his time at JCMU was only just the beginning of his life with Japan.


10.jpgDare to Dream
Greg Werner, 2003-04

Did studying in help you achieve your dreams? For our fifth installment in the “30 Years, 30 Stories” series, read the story of 2003-04 alum Greg Werner, and discover his longtime dedication to Japan led him to reaching two of his loftiest lifelong goals.


september-2013-newsletter1.jpgPhoto Finish
Conrad Louis-Charles, 1989-90

What lessons did your time abroad teach you? For our sixth installment in the “30 Years, 30 Stories” series, read the story of 1989-90 alum Conrad Louis-Charles, and discover how the life skills he learned in Japan continues to impact his photography career.


patrick-3.jpgDiscovering the Real Japan
Patrick Mercer, 2014-15

Why did you decide to study abroad? For our seventh installment in the “30 Years, 30 Stories” series, read the story of 2014-15 alum Patrick Mercer, and learn how his multiple trips to Japan helped him discover Japanese culture and his love of international education.


12307582_1195884020425756_88233979675144208_o.jpgHow JCMU Changed My Life
Nick Chang, Fall 2015

How did study abroad transform you? For our eighth installment in the “30 Years, 30 Stories” series, read the story of fall 2015 alum Nick Chang, and discover how his time in Hikone led him on a journey that would take him to a prestigious graduate school in California.


6.jpgParadigm Shift
David Janes, Summer 1993

Did study abroad completely change your goals? For our ninth installment in the “30 Years, 30 Stories” series, read the story of summer 1993 alum David Janes, and discover how his time at JCMU pushed him to strengthen ties between the U.S. and Japan.


victor-berry-3.jpgThe Journey That Never Ends
Victor Berry, Fall 1998

Did your time exploring a new culture help you grow as a person? For our tenth installment in the “30 Years, 30 Stories” series, read the story of fall 1998 alum Victor Berry, and discover how his time abroad challenged his views of Japan – helping him grow as a result.


Capture.jpgForever, For Always, For Love
Elycia Cook, 1989-90

What pushed you to study abroad? For our eleventh installment in the “30 Years, 30 Stories” series, read the experiences of 1989-90 alum Elycia Cook, and discover how her decision to study in a country she knew little of evolved into an everlasting love of Shiga.


kimono-with-host-sibling.jpgThe New Kids in School
MSHSE Class of 2017

Did you explore another culture while in high school? For our twelfth installment in the “30 Years, 30 Stories” series, read about the Michigan-Shiga High School Exchange class of 2017, and learn about how international experiences aren’t just for college students.


Conti.jpgReturn Trip
Andrew Conti, 1990-91

Have you returned to Shiga? For our thirteenth installment in the “30 Years, 30 Stories” series, read about 1990-91 alum Andrew Conti’s return to Hikone, and discover how no matter how much the world changes from year-to-year, some things never change.


onsen-tripVivid and Quaint
(Robert McEwen, Summer 2011)

Was Shiga’s countryside location special to you? For our fourteenth installment in the “30 Years, 30 Stories” series, read the story of summer 2011 alum Robert McEwen, and discover how being away from the big cities gave him a new outlook on Japan.


Crystal.jpgHikone, Together (part 1)
Crystal Amend, 2000-01

Will your memories of Hikone last till death do you part? For the fifteenth installment in our “30 Years, 30 Stories” series, read the story of 2000-01 alum Crystal Amend, and discover how in Shiga she found a new family, a new language – and her second half.