Global Students and Faculty

  
Expanding Potential: determination
Natsumi Sugano, College of Liberal Arts, senior (at the time of interview)

Major in Sociology major

Finding one’s future

Ever since high school, I have been interested in many different things, and I was never able to narrow down just what it was that I wanted to study. At ICU, you don't have to decide on your major right at the beginning, and that was one of the reasons for me choosing this university. For the first two years, I was able to actively pursue a wide range of subjects, such as psychology, international relations and anthropology, and at the same time I was able to participate in the SEA (Study English Abroad) program and Summer Sessions at the University of California.

I became the dorm president of Global House on campus, and in handling various kinds of work related to administration, events and projects, I had to deal with people from different nationalities and backgrounds. As a place where young people would grow and develop, the dorm was a constant hive of activity. Because of all this, I began to build an interest in wanting to study sociology, particularly immigration and human population movements.

For my time as an exchange student, I chose UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) so that I could learn about immigration. I studied about the history of various immigrant groups-- people of African, Asian and Hispanic/Latino etc origin --and I got to understand about the hostility toward them. Hearing what a friend with immigrant parents had to say about the contradictions that exist in society had a very big effect on me.

There are many immigrants in Los Angeles, and so you get to understand these people not just in lectures but in ordinary everyday situations. Of course to change a whole social system takes a very long time. People in minorities feel that in order to live as proper members of society, it is essential for them to obtain good information. To develop the skills so that I could deliver the necessary information to people in need, I decided to get a job with an advertising company. Through studying abroad, I was able to get a firm grasp on what it was that I wanted to learn and decide on the course that I should take.

One day, I would like to become a member of some organization like an NGO and make the best use of the skills I have acquired in the course of work to provide information to immigrants living in Japan. By helping to enrich their lives, I want to develop the capacity to make Japan a more diversified society.

It is precisely because I had experience in various areas that I was able to deciding on adopting one particular course. ICU is an institution that allows such a circumstance to come about. This is a place where a person can come to find their own future.