The Study Abroad Newsletter


Robert Tanoue

Japanese Studies major
University of the Ryukyus, Japan

sunset in the city

Hello everyone! My name is Robert Tanoue, and I am studying at the University of the Ryukyus in Okinawa for 1 year, and my major is Japanese Studies. Having the chance to be able to study abroad in a different country is really breathtaking and an experience of a lifetime. You get to meet and create new bonds with students from other different countries, while also connecting with some other students from the other islands in Hawaiʻi. You also get to learn the culture and customs of your host country, as well as learning about other people’s cultures and customs from the various other countries that they come from as well. I got to meet and become friends with people from Laos, Thailand, Spain, Afghanistan, and the Marshall Islands, just to name a few. There are a variety of both english classes and japanese classes that you are able to take here in Okinawa.

One of my favorite memories so far is that all of the students from Hawaiʻi got together and had a Thanksgiving dinner. It was hosted by a guy who was also originally from Hawaiʻi but moved up to Okinawa. He told me that he hosts a Thanksgiving dinner every year for the students that come from Hawaiʻi. It was a great chance for all of us to bond and to get to know each other better. We all had fun just sitting down, talking story, and having good laughs here and there, much like how we do it in Hawaiʻi. Overall, it was a great dinner and great to hang out with people that also come from the other islands of Hawaiʻi.