Bridging Scholars Say it Best: Study Abroad Builds Careers

November 19, 2018 

Your donations over the past 20 years have provided 1,945 students the financial assistance they needed to study abroad in Japan as Bridging Scholars. Without your support, these young adults simply would not have been able to gain leadership and workforce skills through the life transforming experience of people-to-people exchange.

We are grateful for you, our supporters, who make a difference in these students’ lives. The Bridging Scholars say it best:  studying abroad in Japan helped them develop into the productive adults they are today, as you’ll see in their words.  Thank you.

The Bridging Scholarship helped me achieve my dream of studying in Japan a reality….allowed me to develop academic and interpersonal skills through the study abroad program that would later lead me to various educational opportunities, including the Fulbright program and the Ph.D. program at the University of California, Los Angeles.  As a racial minority and first-generation college graduate, I understand the importance of sending students from diverse backgrounds and from marginal communities abroad so that they can gain the academic and professional skills necessary to thrive in a highly globalized society.”  (Estefania, Political Science, Academic Year 2011-2012 at Aoyama Gakuin University)

Studying abroad in another country and immersing oneself in a different culture, is an eye-opening experience which should be an integral component of every student’s education.  That it is for most people in the U.S. a prohibitive financial burden is unfortunate…learning to spot commonalities, adopt new perspectives useful for working with different people…I feel confident that studying abroad  made me a better person and than I was before, and that would not have been possible without the Bridging Scholarship.” (Kyle, Computer Science, Spring 2017  at Sophia University)

As a low-income, first-generation college student who worked sometimes three jobs at a time to afford tuition from semester to semester, I never thought study abroad was an option for me.  Traveling to Japan was my first time out of the country and my first time flying in an airplane…I am constantly referring back to my experience studying abroad in Japan at work with my own Fellows, explaining the power of experience, and using myself as proof that you can find ways to afford study abroad through amazing programs like this!” (Samantha, Political Science, Academic Year 2010-2011 at Kansai Gaidai University)