Kyushu University Exchange by Chantelle Sonoda

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Kyushu University

      Kyushu University was founded in 1911 and is the leading research-oriented institute in Fukuoka. There are 11 undergraduate schools, 18 graduate schools, 17 facilities, and 5 research institutes, along with an international student body comprising of more than 2,000 people from over 90 different countries. In other words, a beautiful school with amazing students and faculty who are dedicated to their field of work.

      On March 28 of our trip, the rest of the scholars and I got to reunite with our Kyushu University friends once again and we’re able to make new ones along the way. Although there was a long 45 minute bus ride, the joy of seeing our friends once again was overwhelming as we brought gifts, presentations, and a dance.

      We shared lunch upon our arrival to the college and took a tour around the beautiful campus with its vast array of buildings and many different departments. In one of the buildings, the other students and I shared about our knowledge of the late Daniel K. Inouye (his life, service, and accomplishments) and the local/Hawaiian culture. We shared the message of what the word ‘Aloha’ meant and its significance to us and this program.

A: Akahai – Kindness

L: Lōkahi – Unity

O: Olu‘olu – Agreeability

H: Ha‘aha‘a – Humility

A: Ahonui – Patience

      The more time that spent with the Kyushu University scholars, the stronger our bonds became. Through this program, we created friendships that will last for a lifetime, but more importantly a,

“KAKEHASHI: Building our future; remembering our past.”

      This experience, we broadened our horizons through our interactions and times spent with the Kyushu scholars by sharing each of our cultures with each other and talking to one another. From this experience, I observed that the Japanese students were very involved within their own department and are passionate about what they were studying. Compared to the Hawai’i, although we are passionate about our studies, the passion that the Japanese students exude is what we all aspire to be.

Thank you to our Kyushu friends for being great hosts and taking care of us in Fukuoka. From our Hawai’i Ohana(family) to yours, we love you, miss you, and can’t wait to meet you again!

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