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Shiori Sone ’24

Psychology major

Mount Union offers many real-world opportunities like internships and volunteer work which have allowed me to gain valuable expertise.


B.S., Psychology


Osaka, Japan

Exceptional Opportunity

I chose Mount Union because I was given the opportunity to study abroad in a partnership with Kansai Gaidai University, my home university. Therefore, I am both an exchange and transfer student. Although Mount Union caught my attention because they offer various ways that students can become involved. For example, their tutoring and counseling services are amazing!

Mount Union also has the Spectrum Education Center which allows me to study developmental disabilities in depth and continue excelling in my major. Though, at Mount Union, I feel at home because I am surrounded by kind and caring people such as Dawn Adams, director for international student services and all the international students. Dawn always helps me out when I'm in need, and that makes me feel secure.

Impactful Decision

My family’s background had the strongest impact on my decision to choose psychology as my major. My sister has Down Syndrome, Therefore, I was interested in studying developmental disabilities and counseling for those with developmental disabilities. I would like to ultimately become a counselor for families who deal with developmental disabilities like Down Syndrome. Mount Union is preparing me professionally by allowing me to engage in real-world experiences like internships and volunteer opportunities.

My favorite learning experience so far has been participating in a volunteer activity that my psychology professor allowed me to partake in. I went to a dance coordinated for kids who have disabilities where I was paired up with a participant as their buddy. My role as a buddy was to accompany the little girl anywhere around the building such as when she went to the restroom or help her with tasks like opening a bag of chips. I enjoyed participating and overall, the experience was amazing!

Coping with Stress

I experienced a lot of stress the first couple of months when I arrived, but I felt comfortable as I began to attend Japanese Club meetings and met more people. Befriending people with similar interests helped me cope with my stress because things felt easier. In my first year, I was also struggling with following up with classes. As an international student, some classes were difficult, but Dr. Given in a biology class, helped me catch up on the lectures. I was able to feel more confident since she gave me an extra hour for individual sessions.