UMW’S Newest Language Option? Japanese

UMW plans to offer Japanese language classes this fall. Here students Tess Darroch, left, Rahi Taylor, and Kaitlin Viloria, who spent the fall 2019 semester at Japan’s Akita International University, pose in the UMW Zen garden. (Suzanne Carr Rossi ’00)

UMW plans to offer first- and second-year Japanese language courses beginning this fall, complementing the Japanese culture classes already available.

College of Arts and Sciences Dean Keith Mellinger and Center for International Education Director Jose Sainz announced the program earlier this year in a campus ceremony with Japanese Minister of Public Affairs Takehiro Shimada.

A visiting instructor, funded by a grant from the Japan Foundation, will teach first- and second-year Japanese. If the courses prove popular, UMW could hire permanent faculty.

Mary Washington also has a study-abroad exchange program with Akita International University. The first three UMW students took courses in Akita, Japan, in fall 2019.

“More and more, I’m hearing that Japanese is incredibly popular and that young people love the culture and language,” said Mellinger, who sees the courses as a recruitment opportunity.

 Sainz added, “We hope that the language and culture classes combined with the opportunity to study abroad will attract current and prospective students.”

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