By Megan Nelson
On Wednesday, February 26, 2014, the International Affairs Department at Portland State University sponsored a panel of students from the MIM program, who spoke to a group of approximately thirty Japanese exchange students. The visiting students are all current university students in Japan, who are determining their desire to further their exchange student experience and what they might do as a future career.
The MIM students, Terrence Donahue, Trimaine Belton, Megan Pardee, Hanyang Zhang, Christiano Lee, and Megan Nelson (me), served as “cultural ambassadors” for the students and offered information and guidance in the area of international business.
Many of the Japanese students were initially worried about their English speaking skills, but as the MIM students have learned, language isn’t a barrier to communication. After introducing themselves, the MIM “cultural ambassadors” sat down with small groups of Japanese students to answer questions in a more intimate setting. The exchange students were very interested in developing their English skills, learning about American culture, and enjoying the food. Some of them also had great questions about getting a job in the U.S. after graduating with an undergraduate degree, the merit of a MBA in the business world, how to make a good first impression, and why we change jobs so often in the U.S.
This event was very interesting for all parties involved. The Japanese students were able to gain valuable knowledge, form more complete opinions about the education system in the United States, and decide how they want to proceed with future exchange options. The MIM students were able to learn more about Japanese culture, which will help them as they prepare for the upcoming Asia trip, which commences this Sunday. These events are great recruiting tools for the MIM program, and they are solid learning experiences for the MIM students to engage in cultural activities and learn more about the world around them.