Waseda Meets New & Old FriendsThu, Nov 5, 2020
Since 1963, Waseda University has been collaborating with partner universities in the United States for educational and research exchanges. Currently, there are more than 160 American partner universities, and more than 6,000 students have taken advantage of the exchange programs between Waseda and the partner schools. These exchanges are becoming increasingly active, and for Waseda students, the U.S. is one of the most popular study abroad destinations, with more than 400 students studying abroad in the U.S. each year.
At Waseda, the American students who study abroad here are referred to as “Waseda Friends,” and the University has been promoting activities to share the latest Waseda news with them. Through these efforts, Waseda hopes that more Friends will consider Waseda their second alma mater an that new Waseda communities will be formed in the U.S. For instance, in February of this year, a social event for Waseda Alumni and Friends was held for the first time in Washington D.C. with the cooperation of the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Area Tomonkai (Tomonkai is an official Waseda alumni chapter).
On September 13, 2020, Waseda organized an online social event for mainly Friends residing in the U.S., and approximately 133 people participated. Waseda University President Aiji Tanaka also participated in the event, where he shared his vision for “A Waseda that Shines on the Global Stage” as well as the University’s COVID-19 initiatives. Also, Professor Masahiko Genma (Vice President for International Affairs, International Fundraising and USJI) and Professor Takashi Aso (Vice President for International Public Relations, Equality and Diversity Promotion, International Fundraising (North America) and Student Dormitory) explained the significance of internationalizing the University and building a network with Waseda Alumni and Friends mainly in North America. In addition, many of the participating Friends shared their experiences, such as memories of studying abroad at Waseda and the impact studying abroad at Waseda had on their lives. On the day of the event, some people reunited for the first time after decades, and there was a constant exchange of nostalgia for the reunion over time and distance.
Waseda Alumni and Friends are vital members of the Waseda community. Waseda will continue to value the bond between Alumni and Friends and strengthen its overseas network.
The Waseda experience
Please find below contributing pieces by Waseda Friends regarding their study abroad experience at Waseda. (These articles are reprints of contribution pieces originally published in the Waseda USA Newsletters.)
- Waseda Alum Returns Home by Michael H. Kaplan (Waseda International Division* ’85)
- Ichi-go Ichi-e by Michael Okumura (Waseda International Division*, 1984-1985)
- A University Like No Other by Michael Tang (studied abroad at the School of International Liberal Studies in 2013)
*Established in 1960, the Waseda International Division (Kokusaibu) welcomed American students, mainly from the Great Lakes College Association and the former California State Colleges, to learn the Japanese language and experience the culture in the classroom, around the city, and across the country in a course of a year. The International Division evolved into the School of International Liberal Studies in 2004.