Nora Schleupner, a San Francisco State University student who has been learning Japanese for more than seven years, has received a $3,500 Dilena Takeyama Center scholarship to help finance her continuing language study at Kyoto University of Foreign Studies.
“So far, I’m finding the classes very enjoyable,” said Schleupner. “Although I have studied Japanese for many years before this opportunity to study abroad, I’ve found that the daily practice both in and out of school has helped strengthen my language ability tremendously.”
At Kyoto University of Foreign Studies, Schleupner is enrolled in classes in Japanese language, calligraphy, film study and modern culture. “I chose these electives in order to both further enhance my language ability and to participate in important cultural practices and discussions.”
Schleupner, who transferred to SFSU from Diablo Valley College, said in her application that she also was excited by the opportunity to represent the university and the United States as a cultural ambassador. “As my Japanese friends have helped to inspire me to learn more about Japan, how I will hope to instill the same sentiments about America.”
Living in Kyoto already has enabled Schleupner to develop lasting friendships with Japanese and other international students.
“The more time I spend abroad in Japan, the more I’m drawn to the idea of continuing the cultural exchange and becoming a foreign language teacher,” she said.
The Dilena Takeyama Center launched the scholarship program to assist students in the U.S. and Japan who plan to utilize their studies and future careers in ways that promote improved relations between the two countries.