Every year for the past several years I have helped coordinate and partake in an international exchange program with the Wakase High School students of Japan. It all started out in 2013 when I was asked to help with this exchange by Prof. Kubo as a guide to show the Japanese high school students around the UC Berkeley campus after his lecture. I was more than excited to help out with this exchange and was able to make great connections to the organizers and high school teachers. Since then, a new group of students have been able to visit the UC Berkeley campus and every time I have been honored to partake in the organization, trying to make the exchange more engaging for the the Japanese students. From what started as just a guide around the UC Berkeley campus has now turned into a more interactive event where this year together with fellow Graduate Student Taichi Suzuki, we gave multiple lectures to the students in English and Japanese and attempted to engage them into the world of international research. Both Taichi and I were born and raised in Japan but both very interested in conducting research and studying in the United States. We shared our own personal experiences as students and scientists crossing the bridge between two countries in hopes that these students too will be inspired by the many wonderful international experiences that we had that has shaped who we are now.
I truly believe that science is an internationally shared pursuit that has no boundaries. I hope to bridge as many gaps that we tend to have in the scientific community (between countries, between disciplines) and promote a more integrated, interdisciplinary, collaborative approach to scientific endeavors.