Abroad and ambitious: Meet Yui Nakamura

Learn more about Mt. SAC’s Japanese exchange program and how a trip to Japan may be around the corner


Adam Young

Photo of Yui Nakamura at the International Student Center.

Mt. SAC is expanding its Japanese exchange activities and establishing study abroad programs in Japan in an effort to give Japanese students the chance to experience American culture and practice conversational English.

As part of the Japanese exchange program, Mt. SAC hosted Japanese students from Oberlin University, among them is Yui Nakamura, a 21-year-old English major.

“We are the first program,” Nakamura said. “Everything is the first time for us. The main purpose [of our group] is to help people learn Japanese. I think there aren’t a lot of universities that have Japanese education majors, so we came here to learn how to teach Japanese in different countries.”

Nakamura and her peers from Oberlin University have hosted events to introduce Japanese culture to Mt. SAC in the past. Some events include Conversation Cafes, Japanese Grammar Game Nights and a Global Cafe that introduced various Japanese foods.

Nakamura’s experience in America was not limited to just Mt. SAC. She previously visited Alaska when she was in high school, which sparked her love for traveling and her dream to become a flight attendant.

Nakamura has plans to explore Europe as well.

“I want to travel to Switzerland,” Nakamura added. “The scenery looks so nice from the pictures I’ve seen. It’s so beautiful. Especially when there is snow, the view is so nice.”

According to the “Establishing Japanese Cultural Exchanges and Study Abroad Opportunities for Community College Students” project abstract, Mt. SAC will develop “a semester-long study abroad program to be held in Nagasaki, Japan, in fall 2024.” The Japanese exchange program includes a sister college associated with Nagasaki Junior College to “develop interdisciplinary academic exchange programs.”

This means that students studying Japanese will soon be able to apply for a study abroad program that is similar to Nakamura’s stay in America and there will be even more opportunities for both Japanese and American college students to be exposed to each other’s culture in the future.

Overall, Nakamura said she enjoyed her stay in America and immersing herself in American culture but misses Japanese food.