In an effort to further strengthen Shoreline Community College’s long-standing relationship with Japan, President Cheryl Roberts recently visited Okinawa Prefecture in southern Japan to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with several local prefecture mayors. The mayors have banded together in an initiative to encourage local Okinawan students to study abroad and participate in an increasingly interdependent world.
The agreement signed by Dr. Roberts paves the way for students from Okinawa to participate in education exchange programs at Shoreline Community College. The actual signing ceremony was attended by well over a hundred local residents, including prefectural mayors, education superintendents, and members of the local community that were interested in sending their students to Shoreline. In addition to signing the agreement, Dr. Roberts also spoke to those in attendance about the profound relationship between the U.S. and Japan, and especially the role that Okinawan students will play in the internationalization of Japan.
The session concluded with a panel discussion, where Dr. Roberts and Executive Director of International Education Diana Sampson answered questions from local officials and parents about community colleges, and education in the United States.
Shoreline Community College is currently home to over 1,000 international students from some 45 countries. Although the number of Japanese students studying in the United States has decreased in the past several years, many members of the local Okinawan community expressed optimism that Shoreline’s reputation for quality education will continue to attract top Japanese students. The visit from the Shoreline delegation also included visits to local schools, and will conclude with a visit to Meiji University in Tokyo.