• Completion Ceremony held for 137 Exchange Students from 25 countries and regions of the 2018 Academic Year Autumn Term


Completion Ceremony held for 137 Exchange Students from 25 countries and regions of the 2018 Academic Year Autumn Term

    On January 28 (Monday), the 2018 Academic Year Autumn Term Completion Ceremony for 137 students from 25 countries and regions took place at the Discovery Hall in the Central Education Tower, including exchange students from the University of Massachusetts, Boston (U.S.), University of Nairobi (Kenya), and Leipzig University (Germany), along with Soka University of America (SUA) trainees and with special non-degree students (who studied at Soka University).

    At the ceremony, Chairman of the Board of Trustees Yasunori Tashiro introduced a message from founder Dr. Daisaku Ikeda. In his message, the founder stated: “I am sure that various hardships lie ahead of you. However, just as you have experienced through this study abroad, no matter what trials you may face, unlimited potential will definitely open up for youth that patiently advance 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. I hope that you will cheerfully tie bonds of friendship 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 conferral of certificates. Representing all the students, three students, Mr. Figueiredo Martinez Ribeiro Murilo (an exchange student from Brazil’s University of Sao Paolo), Ms. Amrita Sood (an SUA trainee), and Ms. Szabara Rosa-Maria Kiyomi (a special non-degree student from Austria) shared their words.
    Mr. Figueiredo Martinez Ribeiro Murilo shared: “Soka University is my home. I learned about human feelings and the importance of sympathizing with others, 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, in order to 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 the whole world is gathering, and I was able to encounter new people and make new friends. The bond with each and every person I met here is indicative of 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.”
    In this way, each delivered a speech in Japanese, looking back on their student exchange experiences at Soka University.

    The ceremony concluded with President Yoshihisa Baba sharing: “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 grow as seniors. Please hold fast the spirit of creating value in your heart and powerfully advance forward in your life as you move ahead. From today, Soka University is your alma mater. Please visit your alma mater whenever you wish.”