USU Agriculture Students in Japan
By Mason Anderson
I had the amazing opportunity to attend the University of Tsukuba in Japan for spring break this year. This program was offered through USU and mainly the College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences. There were 11 students selected to represent Utah State University at the University of Tsukuba. The Agro-Biological College at the University of Tsukuba created this short-stay program. We were in Japan for 10 days and saw many new and interesting sights. The first couple of days in Japan we were able to do some sightseeing and familiarize ourselves with their culture by viewing some of their earliest temples.
There were also students from France’s University of Bordeaux, the Philippines’ University of the Philippines Los Banos and Japan’s University of Tsukuba. The third and fourth day we met and discussed the challenges and problems that we are facing in agriculture in our individual countries. It was very interesting to see the different challenges each country faces and how those difficulties could be overcome. Each night we had the opportunity to go into downtown Tsukuba and have dinner. The Japanese food was very interesting and tasty. Their main staple foods seemed to be rice, curry, soup, ramen and sushi.
We had opportunities to visit some other businesses and companies while in Japan. We visited JAXA which stands for Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency this was similar to our NASA. We also saw a zero emissions house. It was really interesting to see how they were able to use green energy and not emit any carbon dioxide. They were using many new technologies from their microwave to using solar panels for roof shingles in order to save energy. I was amazed by the technology they continue to develop in Japan and especially at the University of Tsukuba. We saw their science laboratories and they told us about some of the research they are conducting. Including research on nematodes. Nematodes are microscopic worms and they are using these nematodes to test new developments in the medical field.
It was an amazing experience to go and learn about technology in agriculture and science in Japan. It was great to go and get hands on experience in another country. I was able to see different problems other countries are facing in agriculture and how they are working to improve agricultural practices in those countries. It made me reflect on some of the issues we face here in the United States and some measures we can take so solve those problems. It was a very good and educational program for me to attend and I would highly encourage all students to take advantage of study abroad opportunities.
The University of Tsukuba is very interested in finding international students to participate in their study abroad program. The University of Tsukuba is the equivalent to MIT here in the U.S., it is a very good school and well established. My experience in Japan was very enjoyable and I was glad I had the opportunity to participate in the short study abroad program. For those who may be interested in learning more about a long-term study abroad in Japan they can contact Dr. Nomura who runs the program, at the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org