Yuya Takeda, Osaka, Japan

Yuya is spending two years at Becker College, studying psychology and teaching Japanese language within the Becker humanities and languages department. He is also a program assistant in the Living & Learning Center for first-year interactive media design students, and in spring 2013, he will create a Japanese culture club, open to all Becker students.

“It is a great cultural experience,” says Yuya about being at Becker College. “I have always been interested in teaching language and sharing my native culture with people who are interested.

“Living on campus feels like a village. While it has lively student vibes, it also has an environment where we can focus on study. The secure campus, academic resources, accessible professors, and motivated friends encourage my study.”

According to Yuya, the greatest difference he has encountered in the American classroom is stronger, more dynamic interaction between professors and students. “I think it not only comes from a cultural difference, but also class size. Becker College provides relatively small classes, and that encourages us to be involved and engaged in class activities,” he says. “In Japan, a quiet student who does not express his opinion much, in order to avoid conflicts, is traditionally considered ‘a good student.’ Although this is gradually changing, classrooms are yet where the job of students is to receive information.”

Yuya seems to be a natural educator. “When students really enjoy a course, even at 8:00 a.m., it is fun. Through language learning, students can also learn culture and broaden their horizons,” he says.

When asked what makes Becker the right fit for him, Yuya explained, “I was looking for an opportunity to expand both career and academic possibilities. To teach students who are highly motivated and interested in my culture is the biggest pleasure. To learn with those students takes me closer to my own learning goals.

“Becker College’s location, close to Boston and NYC is ideal too, since I am looking for internship and career development opportunities. I realized after arrival that Worcester has enormous opportunities and plenty of life too.”

Yuya was also invited to participate in the Global Citizenship Initiative at Becker College. He is a member of the sub-committee on Campus Culture and International Students. His service will contribute to the College’s work as part of the American Council on Education (ACE) Internationalization Laboratory project.

Yuya says he loves travel, as well as photography, music, and art. A graduate of Ryukoku University, in Kyoto, Japan, Yuya holds a bachelor’s degree in English and American culture, and has plans to become an international student advisor. He first came to the United States in 2008, to learn English in Berkley, Calif. He also studied in Liverpool, England, and traveled to 25 European countries.

“I wanted to try something new, creative, and positive; it’s been amazing,” Yuya says about his decision to immerse himself in Western culture. “Becker College has a very strong sense of community and solidarity that is hard to feel in big universities. This is very inspiring and encouraging. Ever since I came here, I have felt a surprising number of times that, ‘I love my college.’”

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