What I Did in Kyoto

Current Kyoto Student Ambassadors

Renee Cai (Physics) - Autumn 2017-18

I had always known before coming to college that I wanted to study abroad — the chance to live in a different country and to completely immerse yourself in a foreign culture and language was one I knew I could not pass up. The only question was where. I discovered in my first two years at Stanford that most classes on  art, literature, philosophy, and history focus primarily on Western culture, leaving little room for exposure to non-Western thinking. Kyoto was the perfect place for me to explore an entire culture that was neglected for most of my K-12 education.

Justin Cajanding (Comparative Literature and Japanese) - Spring 2017-18

In studying abroad in Kyoto I found that it was easier to establish a more personal grasp on Japan, its culture, and its people that laid out of the scope of academic courses taken studying Japan on the home campus. With this grasp, breaking down monolithic assumptions about Japan and learning how to engage with different perspectives and viewpoints on the world especially with professors, guests, and people in their own unique fields and interests had a significant impact on me and my studies.

Past Kyoto Student Ambassadors

Annie Shi (Product Design) - Spring 2016-17

I had no idea how liberating it was to not live at school and have the ability to go anywhere without a car (public transportation in Japan is honestly the most amazing thing in the world). It was also a great opportunity to explore classes not necessarily in your major and learn about Japanese culture in the literal heart of Japanese culture (aka Kyoto).

Zane Zook (Mechanical Engineering) - Spring 2015-16

After realizing how little I knew about this half of my heritage, I tried to learn as much as I could. Coming to Stanford gave me the opportunity to learn Japanese, to join Japan-related student groups and to target my personal holy grail, the BOSP Kyoto program. 

Megan Shinbashi (Biology) - Spring 2015-16

I had always been interested in studying abroad in Japan to reconnect with my cultural roots and practice my Japanese abilities. I am also particularly fond of sightseeing, Japanese history, and Japanese food, so when the chance to study abroad in Kyoto came about, I jumped at the opportunity! 

Danny Do (Biology) - Spring 2014-15

As a premed student, I had little room to explore classes outside of the required core. In Kyoto, I was able to take a class on traditional music of East Asia and another on Japanese popular culture.

Santos Hernandez (Product Design) - Spring 2014-15

I wanted to study abroad and somewhere different and Japan has a culture completely different to western countries due to its history. The program was a great fit for me because of the amazing cultural experience as well as developing my language skills.