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Shizuka Kuramitsu '20

International Affairs and Diplomacy and German major

Association of International Students (AIS) has many events that both international students and domestic students can have fun together, hoping members share intercultural experience.

Education

International Affairs and Diplomacy/German

Hometown

Hiroshima, Japan

Why Mount Union?

My high school and Mount Union have built a long prosperous relationship since 1968. My high school is a girls’ academy founded by a female Methodist missionary before WWII. Thanks to Yoshino Murakami, one of the alumni from my high school, I had a chance to receive Yoshino Murakami scholarship. Since the Yoshino Murakami Scholarship covers full-tuition for four years for me, this scholarship helped me decide to come to the U.S. This scholarship supports one girl from my high school to send to Mount Union once four years. Dr. [Naoko] Oyabu-Mathis was the third recipient of the Yoshino Murakami scholarship and I am the 13th recipient of the same scholarship.

Second Home Across the World

Association of International Students (AIS) has many events that both international students and domestic students can have fun together, hoping members share intercultural experience. I cannot thank many people enough. Dawn Adams, Dr. Oyabu-Mathis, and my best friend, Natasha, have all helped me adjust to college life. Since the spring semester in my freshman year, I have worked at the circulation desk in KHIC. Working on campus helped me not only get to know new people, but also how the library works and what kind of service I can get here, which was very helpful to me. 

Choosing Majors

A single atomic bomb, whose power was less than a fraction of what we have today, killed over 140,000 people in my hometown in 1945. Since I was born in Hiroshima, I have had so many chances to learn about nuclear weapons, and A-bomb victims. Those who have lost their family members and loved ones, due to a single bomb, have changed their sadness into power to realize the world without nuclear weapons. They have demonstrated that love is powerful than hatred. The reason why I study international affairs is because I would like to be a Japanese diplomat and contribute to nuclear abolition in the future. 

The reason why I chose German as my second major is because I got to know many friends from Germany when I studied in Brazil for a year at the age of 15. After I learned Portuguese in Brazil, I always wanted to have chance to study German. The German language is very fascinating because it is very logical and also sounds cool.

Unique Experiences

In the spring semester of my sophomore year, I studied in Lüneburg, Germany. It was wonderful not only because I could learn German practically, but also because I could visit a lot of people in Europe. I had a lot of chances such as visiting a Japanese diplomat who was working in Geneva, and previous Yoshino Murakami scholarship recipients in Frankfurt. Meeting people there made me think about my future jobs and career as a Japanese woman. 

Faculty Interaction

Every time I went to Dr. [Michael] Grossman’s office hours, he understood my fear of sharing thoughts with whole class in English, but he kept encouraging me to do so. He always casts us questions and shows us how interesting topics are. By taking his classes, I could gain not only knowledge, but also how to think and how to share my thoughts with others.