Emily Robinson ’18 and Bingqing Zhou ’18 were inducted into the Japanese National Honor Society – College Chapter, which recognizes students who display excellence in the study of the Japanese language. The recent graduates were nominated by Associate Professor of Asian Studies James-Henry Holland and Tanaka Lecturer in Japanese Kyoko Klaus based on their dedication to the challenging subject.
Administered by the American Association of Teachers of Japanese, the society promotes high academic standards while establishing opportunities for students to utilize their language skills. In addition to studying abroad in Japan, Robinson and Zhou say the work that HWS faculty have done to assist them in their learning has undeniably played a role in their success.
“I think working one-on-one with faculty is an incredible experience that definitely motivated me to continue with the subject,” says Robinson, who graduated magna cum laude in Asian studies and psychology. “I was lucky to be placed into an independent study for Japanese at the beginning of my college career, so from the start my experience has been highly individualized.”
Zhou, who majored in Asian studies, appreciates the significant interest that the HWS faculty took in his education. “[They] not only aided me in learning Japanese, but assisted me throughout my entire HWS experience,” he says.
Robinson and Zhou also tout their study abroad experiences for enhancing their language skills as well as giving them firsthand knowledge of the country’s social and educational environment. For two semesters, Robinson studied at the Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies (KCJS) in Kyoto at Doshisha University. The KCJS is an association of 13 American universities that sponsor undergraduates who participate in the advanced Japanese language and cultural studies program.
Zhou undertook studies at the Japan Center for Michigan Universities (JCMU). Through the program, Zhou enrolled in courses at the University of Shiga Prefecture in Hikone, including a language immersion course that involved an intensive Japanese language and cultural study component. In addition, he says his homestay allowed him to engage with the traditional Japanese lifestyle, and has motivated him to pursue a career within Asian studies.
Zhou is applying to graduate schools in Japan. Robinson intends to work locally for a year before deciding on her academic future.