Study tour brings Fukushima University students to UW-Madison

In the days leading up to the third anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, Madison will host a group of students from Fukushima University, who will speak at a public event about their lives back home.

The 23 Japanese students — accompanied by two chaperones and a guide — are in the United States on a study tour, called the “The Kakehashi Project – The Bridge for Tomorrow,” which will bring them to Madison on March 8-11, between stops on the East and West coasts.

On Sunday, March 9, the students will be featured at a public program and reception, 1:30-4:30 p.m., at the Unitarian Meeting House, 900 University Bay Drive. Their presentations on life today in Fukushima will address such topics as the education of children, local communities after the earthquake, the current condition and future of Fukushima, and reflections on disaster recovery.

On March 11, 2011, a tsunami triggered by a massive earthquake struck the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant, resulting in a meltdown of three of the plant’s six nuclear reactors.

The visit by the Fukushima students follows on a 10-day visit to Japan – although not in the Fukushima region – last May by 23 University of Wisconsin–Madison students, also part of the Kakehashi Project. Charo D’Etcheverry, UW–Madison associate professor of Japanese literature, accompanied the UW students and has been coordinating plans for the Madison visit by the Japanese students.

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Why aren’t more guys participating in study abroad? It’s hard to say

Max Brudvig felt that studying abroad “was necessary for a complete college experience.”

Currently a senior majoring in political science and history at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Brudvig spent the spring semester of his junior year in Brisbane, Australia.

He says the most rewarding parts of his experience were “the friendships and memories you build by being thrown into new situations with strangers.”

For Brudvig, the choice to go abroad was never a difficult one. “I have been told by multiple people that they wish they had traveled while they were young, but put it off and never got the opportunity.”

But, among his peers, he represents a minority.

At UW–Madison, which is ranked the sixth in the nation for the number of students sent overseas, males are far less likely than females to study abroad during their college career.

According to campus-wide data compiled by International Academic Programs (IAP), UW–Madison’s largest study abroad office, 1,404 female students studied abroad in 2011-12, compared to 745 males. That breaks down to 65.3 percent to 34.7 percent of the university’s total, even though the campus ratio of male to female is roughly 1:1.

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Krikelas, former International Studies staff member, passes away

Joan E. Krikelas, who worked in International Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison for 17 years, died on November 29, 2013, at UW Hospital after a brief illness. She was 79.

Krikelas worked in what then was called the Office of International Studies and Programs, first as foreign visitor coordinator and later as fellowships advisor. She retired in 1995.

“I want to recognize Joan’s dedication and service on behalf of International Studies and offer my condolences to her family,” says Guido Podesta, Interim Vice Provost and Dean of the Division of International Studies.

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