The U.S. Ambassador to Japan, Caroline Kennedy, paid a visit to Keio University’s Mita Campus on July 6, 2015, to convey to Keio University students the benefits of studying abroad and to encourage more Japanese students to choose the United States as their study abroad destination.
Keio President Atsushi Seike introduced Ambassador Kennedy who is the 29th—and the first female—ambassador of the United States to Japan after being nominated by President Barack Obama in 2013. President Seike noted that she is also playing an important role in inspiring many young women in Japan.
Ambassador Kennedy took to the podium to speak about the benefits of studying abroad, both in terms of personal development and on a professional level in an era where companies are actively looking for diverse employees who can work collaboratively as a team, bring cross-cultural perspectives to the table, and speak other languages. However, she also emphasized that the impact of studying abroad is significant on a global level. She told the audience of current Keio students that the alliance between the U.S. and Japan is one that has achieved so much in terms of peace and prosperity, economic opportunities, and the sharing of democratic values, and their generation is responsible for taking it forward.
After her address, she joined a panel discussion with three Keio students; one who has studied in the United States, one who is planning to study in the United States, and an American exchange student at Keio. During the panel discussion and the subsequent Q&A session, Ambassador Kennedy candidly answered questions on issues ranging from the effectiveness of study abroad programs and diversity on campuses, to ones about her own experiences as a college student at Harvard and as an exchange student in England, and she also threw questions out to the audience.
The majority of the audience was made up of Keio students who are planning to or are interested in study abroad in the future, and they were surely inspired and motivated by Ambassador Kennedy’s words to make the most of the opportunities at Keio to expand their horizons and become global citizens.