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UW-Madison study abroad participation, international students reach all-time high

The number of University of Wisconsin–Madison students participating in study abroad has climbed to an all-time high, with a majority of participating students opting for semester- and year-long programs.

According to the 2015 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange, 2,276 UW–Madison students earned academic credit outside of the United States in 2013-14, up from 2,157 the previous year. The 5% increase over last year represents highest rate of increase in the past five years.

UW–Madison ranks 10th among U.S. universities and colleges in the latest Open Doors Report, marking the university’s eighth consecutive year in the top ten. Released each year at the start of International Education Week, the report is published by the Institute of International Education in partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

In addition, the Open Doors Report ranks UW–Madison 24th among all U.S. universities and colleges in the number of non-U.S. students hosted in 2014-15. The university enrolled 5,977 non-U.S. students last year, an increase of 4.5% over the previous year.

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Alumni Profile: From UW student to chairman of Central Japan Railway

“Since you never know when your life will end,” Yoshiyuki Kasai says, “it is not meaningful to draw up a whole life plan that assumes you will enjoy a long life.”

Kasai07Instead, Kasai says, “What is important is to hold convictions and try to aim for the summit of a high mountain in the distance. While you are trying to get there, your life will be filled with uncertainties, and what you should be doing is to do your very best, day in and day out.”

Kasai offers this bit of advice in a book he wrote recently to help guide the next generation of leaders. He draws on the experiences of climbing his own mountain.

He began his journey in 1963 when he joined the Japanese National Railways, where he held a variety of positions including corporate planning and labor management.

After the privatization of Japan National Railways in 1987, he became president in 1995 and chairman in 2004 of Central Japan Railway Company (JR Central), the country’s leading high-speed-rail operator. Now he serves as the Chairman Emeritus of JR Central, but his journey to the summit is still en route.

Along the way, his path brought him to the American Midwest, when the Japanese government sent him to UW–Madison to study economics in the late 1960s.

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