Montana State University

LEAP(ing) @ MSU in 2016

June 22, 2016 -- MSU News Service

Thirteen Japanese educators are in Bozeman for 10 weeks as part of the Long-term Education Administrators program, called LEAP, which brings the young Japanese administrators to Bozeman through mid-August as part of  a career training program in America. MSU photo by Nilam A. Patel.

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While there certainly are differences in cultures, it’s the similarities of the U.S. and Japan and the friendliness of Montanans that is most noticed by 13 Japanese college and university educators who are in Bozeman for a 10-week training program at Montana State University.

The educators are participants in the Long-term Education Administrators program, called LEAP which brings the young Japanese administrators to Bozeman through the end of July for a career training program in America. Funded by Japanese Ministry of Education, this is the 18th year that a handful of Japanese administrators at the zenith of their administrative careers have come to MSU. While here, LEAP participants study English at the A.C.E. Language Institute and learn about higher education and international program operations at MSU. In August, LEAP participants move to other U.S. universities to participate in internships until March, when they will return to their home institutions.

Recently, the LEAP participants wrote about their experiences in Bozeman and their thoughts on higher education, modern culture and their experiences in the U.S.

What is the most interesting difference between Japanese universities and American universities?

Most of the LEAPers spoke about the differences in funding of higher education. In Japan, the Japanese government is responsible for higher education, not the state government.

Other answers were:

I think administrators’ role and treatment in universities are different between the two countries. In Japan, most administrators are rotating different divisions by the human resources policy of the universities. The span of working at one office is about three years.

Emiko Tezuka

Utsunomiya University

 

Tuition is expensive. The campus is so huge.

Keiko Asahi

Tokyo Institute of Technology

 

There are many recreation places (in the U.S.) such as tennis courts, gyms, billiard tables, bowling lanes and more in the university.

Keisuke Mimura

Hiroshima University

 

Recognition of the work-life balance.

Sho Nohara

Kyushu University.

 

The most interesting difference is that the student governments are more engaged in a process for making decisions in the university administration.

Nahomi Arai

Tohoku University.

 

Describe the most interesting thing you’ve seen in Montana.

The sunshine hours in Montana are much longer than Japan. I can enjoy outdoor activity outside a lot.

Kota Sagawa

Hokkaido University

Bison. Before the Art Walk downtown, my friend and I ate bison steaks at a popular restaurant downtown. At the Art Walk, I saw a lot of motifs of bison. I felt that bison are important to the people in Bozeman.

Emiko Tezuka

Utsunomiya University

Vast extended lands. And, I saw some small animals even on campus.

Keisuke Mimura

Hiroshima University

 

There are several animals I have never seen in Japan.

Mariko Tomeoku

Ochanomizu University

 

I went to commencement of Bozeman high school. I was really surprised to see many people had noisemakers! The atmosphere was totally different from Japanese commencement.

Nahomi Arai

Tohoku University

 

So many students wear T-shirts with their university logo. This tells me how proud they are of being a student of MSU.

Kazunori Aikawa

Iwate University

What do you know now that you wish you would have known while you were in college?

I wish I had learned economics, politics and sociology because those are important fields to understand the background of what is happening in the world.

Emiko Tezuka

Utsunomiya University

 

 

What one place in Japan should every American see?

Shrines, temples and nature in Nikko City, Tochigi Prefecture. It is my hometown. There are world heritage shrines and temples and also beautiful nature.

Emiko Tezuka

Utsunomiya University

 

Kyoto! Especially in cherry blossom and autumn leaves seasons.

Keiko Asahi

Tokyo Institute of Technology

 

I recommend my hometown, Hiroshima City. Last month, Barack Obama, President of the U.S., visited Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

Keisuke Mimura

Hiroshima University

 

I would recommend Kerama Island in Okinawa. It is the best place to dive in Japan. When you dive into the water, you will find extremely clear sea and beautiful coral and tropical fishes.

Mariko Tomeoku

Ochanomizu University

Konjikido Gold Hall, the Buddhist temple in Hiraizumi, Iwate. It was completed in 1124 and is covered with gold leaf both inside and out.

Kazunori Aikawa

Iwate University

 

What is one thing you would like to do while you are in the U.S.?

I like watching baseball games. So, I would like to go watch MLB games during my stay in the U.S.

Keisuke Mimura

Hiroshima University

What is the most valuable possession that you brought with you from Japan?

Freeze-dried miso soup.

Nahomi Arai

Tohoku University

 

Anything that you would like to tell the people of Bozeman?

I am very happy to be here in Bozeman, since people here are very kind and warm and the scenery is very beautiful with mountains surrounding. I didn’t know how nice it was to live in Bozeman when I was in Japan, and I’m glad to know that.

Marina Ogawa

Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) Japan

I would like to express my thanks for the people of Bozeman. People are so friendly and I can relax. Bozeman is the best place to start life in the USA.

Mariko Tomeoku

Ochanomizu University

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Makiko Diehl (406) 994-7944, makiko.diehl@montana.edu