Willamette University, Students at the Mill Stream

New TIUA class arrives in Salem

Blitz the Bearcat greets a new TIUA student during a welcoming ceremony on Tuesday. Blitz the Bearcat greets a new TIUA student during a welcoming ceremony on Tuesday.

Although their flight to Portland was two hours late, the new TIUA class members were greeted by administrators and students at Willamette University Tuesday afternoon.Although their flight to Portland was two hours late, the new TIUA class members were greeted by administrators and students at Willamette University Tuesday afternoon.

Tokyo International University of America (TIUA) recently welcomed 130 new students to Salem for a year of academic and cultural learning.

The students, who attend Tokyo International University (TIU) in Japan, will take English language and American studies courses for the next year at TIUA and Willamette.

Gunnar Gundersen, executive vice president of TIUA, says the program offers enrichment opportunities for students, who learn how to better solve problems, work collaboratively and strengthen their leadership skills.

“Graduates of Willamette and TIU have found doors opening in terms of their professional lives that otherwise would not have been open to them,” he says. “They are much better prepared to live and work in our global society.”

The TIUA campus was established in 1989 through a partnership between TIU and Willamette. Since then, 2,405 students have enrolled in the Salem program.

This year's class includes 66 women and 64 men. TIUA students room with Willamette students in residence halls across campus; their roommates thus learn about Japanese culture while helping the students integrate into campus life. The process ensures that learning and intercultural development can flow both ways.

Community service and cultural sharing activities are part of the TIUA students' experience in Salem, and through the partnership, Willamette students and professors also study and teach in Japan at the TIU campus.

TIUA is seeking community participants for the Tomodachi "friendship" program. Learn more on the TIUA website or by contacting Barby Dressler at bdressle@willamette.edu.