Through the Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies, Emily Robinson ’18 spent the 2015-16 academic year in Kyoto, Japan, immersed in the country’s language and culture.
From August 2015 to April 2016, the double-major in Asian studies and psychology enjoyed Japanese language classes and “opportunities to learn about social issues in Japanese society, which was a new look at the country,” she explains.
Established in September 1989, the Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies is a consortium of 14 American universities that sponsors a rigorous, two-semester academic program for undergraduates to conduct advanced work in Japanese language and cultural studies.
In anticipation of the year abroad, Robinson took courses with Kyoko Ishida, the Tanaka Lecturer of Japanese Language at HWS, which was “extremely helpful” in preparing her for the abroad program “known for its rigor in Japanese language studies,” Robinson says.
Reflecting on her time in Japan, she notes that the program has “had a large impact on my plans both in terms of academics at HWS and once I graduate” — though perhaps in an unexpected way.
During the eight-month term abroad, Robinson had the chance to volunteer at an elementary school in Kyoto and “was able to translate classwork from Japanese into English for foreign students, which was an incredibly rewarding experience.”
And while she will continue her Japanese study at HWS, Robinson foresees her career plans after graduation developing out of her psychology major, thanks to “my deep interest in the social sciences through my coursework abroad, which I would not have found otherwise.”