IEP Graduation Speech: Takahito Matsunaga from Japan

Takahito Matsunaga giving the graduation speech
Takahito Matsunaga from Ritsumeikan University

On March 16th, Takahito Matsunaga, one of our Intensive English Program students winter quarter from Ritsumeikan University, gave an impactful speech at the graduation ceremony that recaps the valuable friendships and connections that UC Davis students and Takahito created. 

In the 10-week long Intensive English Program, Takahito gained confidence in communicating in English, which leads to the story of finding his mentors and friends at UC Davis after joining a student organization on campus, called “Davis Christian Fellowship” that meets weekly. As an international student, it was not easy for Takahito to approach new friends in English, especially when he has never encountered Christianity or American cultures prior in Japan. Takahito never had known how accepting the Davis students are, and now appreciates the humbling experience that made him feel loved by so many people in a foreign country, no matter the differences and the distance between the United States and Japan.

At the Center for International Education, we are humbled by the eye-opening experiences students share about their interactions with the American culture, as the students also broaden the worldviews of the community. Even though cultures, origins, history may be uniquely different, Takahito and his friends teach the UC Davis community that: #YouAreWelcomeHere! 

Takahito Matsunaga with his Davis friends at the ceremony
Around 20 UC Davis student friends of Takahito Matsunaga came to the ceremony, showering him with love and support before he leaves the United States.