Holding of a Completion Ceremony for 137 Exchange Students from 25 Countries and Regions of the AY 2018 Fall
March 07, 2019
On January 28 (Mon.), the Academic Year 2018 Fall Completion Ceremony for 137 international students from 25 countries and regions took place at the Discovery Hall in the Global Square. During this term, exchange students from the University of Massachusetts, Boston (U.S.), University of Nairobi (Kenya), and Leipzig University (Germany), as well as Soka University of America (SUA) trainees and non-degree students, studied at Soka University.
At the ceremony, Chairman of the Board of Trustees Yasunori Tashiro introduced a message from the founder Dr. Daisaku Ikeda. The founder stated in the message: "I am sure that various hardships may lie ahead of you. However, just as you have experienced through this study abroad, no matter what trials you may face, the unlimited potential will definitely emerge for a youth that patiently advances forward with courage. 'Soka' is another name for 'courage' with which one continues to create value, fearlessly challenging oneself for the sake of peace and happiness of humanity. As a proud alumnus of Soka University, I hope that you will cheerfully create bonds with many friends around the world and widely expand the great solidarity of upholding the dignity of life and humanism as you continue to carry out open-hearted dialogue."
This was followed by the conferral of certificates. Representing all the students, three students, Mr. Figueiredo Martinez Ribeiro Murilo (exchange student from University of Sao Paolo, Brazil), Ms. Amrita Sood (SUA trainee), and Ms. Szabara Rosa-Maria Kiyomi (non-degree student from Austria) shared their experiences.
Mr. Figueiredo Martinez Ribeiro Murilo shared: "Soka University is my home. I learned to understand others and the importance of sympathizing, I improved my communication skills, and I was able to grow as a human being. During my study abroad, I cried, laughed, danced, and sang songs. I was also a listener and a speaker. Through various experiences, I believe that I am now able to firmly believe in myself and advance on my own path."
Ms. Amrita Sood shared: "In the past five months, I was able to have a wonderful experience--one that I will never forget. I am sincerely grateful to the International Affairs Office, SUA, and all the students who helped me spend the best time here. When I came to Japan, I was a little nervous even to correctly order a sandwich at the Subway on campus. And now, I am nervous about going back to America. At Soka University, I was able to make lifelong friendships that deeply impacted my life."
Ms. Szabara Rosa-Maria Kiyomi shared: "Before coming to Japan, I was worried if I could truly make friends. However, there was absolutely no need to worry. I am convinced that Soka University is a special place where friends from all over the world gather, and I was able to encounter new people and make new friends. The bond with each and every person I met here is a very significant connection. I was also able to create a lifelong friendship. It was the best year of my life and will be my lifelong treasure. I want many youths to also have this experience."
Each representative student delivered their speech in Japanese, looking back on their student exchange experiences at Soka University.
The ceremony was concluded with President Yoshihisa Baba's address stating that "There are many seniors who studied abroad at Soka University and who are playing an active role after their return to their homeland. I expect each of you here to play an active role in your own county and to become an example for your underclassmen. Please hold fast the spirit of value creation in your heart and powerfully advance forward in your life as you move ahead. From this day on, Soka University is your alma mater so please come visit us anytime."