By Lynn Reutens ‘23
Ayumi Karasuda '24 was born and raised in Hiroshima, Japan. She attended the Hiroshima Jogakuin High School, a sister school of Mount Union and is arecipient of the Yoshino Murakami Scholarship that is awarded to one high school student in every four years. She is currently a rising sophomore pursuing a major in international affairs and diplomacy with a minor in business administration.
Karasuda beautifully shared that she had always wanted to study abroad and explore various cultures, so she had to take the opportunity when it was presented to her.
“I am very happy to come to the United States and to Mount Union. I also chose the United States because I really would like to improve my English skills.,” she said. “I remember that I was nervous on my first day at Mount Union, lonely too but everyone was so nice to me, so my heart was happy. It’s still happy. Mount Union is a really nice place, and it’s even more beautiful when in snows.”
Karasuda has also set her sights on doing a study abroad program in France in the next academic year.
“I want to improve my French language a bit more and see Paris,” she said. “It’s been the apple of my eye for a long time, and I want to walk along the Champs-Élysées and breathe Paris into my soul. There’s so much to see and do. Paris ne s’est pas fait en un jour!”
She thoughtfully shared that her family, specifically her parents, have been her inspiration throughout her journey.
“My parents, Yuji and Yukako Karasuda, always encouraged me and opened my eyes to the world,” she said. “Most importantly is they’re always there when I need them. I mean I can call them anytime and they will answer.”
Karasuda profoundly voiced the impact the academic experience and faculty have had on her during her time at Mount Union.
“The professors at Mount Union have been very kind to me and are always there to guide and help the students,” she said. “They know when we need help, so this takes away our fears. Dr. Bertrand Landry is truly amazing. He advised me not to always overthink and to focus on the now, the current moment. His advice has helped me navigate my way around my courses, so I have built my confidence. Sometimes we need someone else to tell us things so we can improve. I really have a meaningful life here.”
She was happy to share that not only has the classroom learning provided her with an opportunity to experience something new every day, but she has made new connections and relationships throughout campus.
“I have met many people, made many friends, and learned about the American culture and other cultures too,” she said. “New international students must not be afraid to ask for help. Everyone here is very helpful and kind.”
In her free time, Karasuda plays tennis, reads books, and watches anime. She is on the executive board of the Association of International Students and Japanese Club. She smiled when asked about her future plans and career.
“I would like to work for a Japanese conglomerate one day and to work on introducing the appeal for Japanese food to people around the world,” she said. “This is why languages are important to me so I can travel the world with ease. I mean success is all about achieving a goal. I think as a student success to me is to pursue the study that I like and learn as much as I can from it. I know some days can be hard, but I will continue to learn. This way I will be able to do well in life.”
As movingly voiced by American novelist, Wendell Berry, “Nobody can discover the world for somebody else. Only when we discover it for ourselves does it become common ground and a common bond, and we cease to be alone.”