For Wakaba Onose, being able to study at Queen’s University after receiving the Prince Takamado Visiting Student Scholarship is a great opportunity but also comes with a measure of responsibility.
Ms. Onose, a political studies major from Keio University, says that when she was informed she had won the scholarship she was excited about studying abroad and learning within a different culture. However, knowing the importance of the scholarship, both for her home country and Queen’s, she quickly realized that she would be representing Japan as well.
The scholarship honours Prince Takamado, a member of the Japanese royal family who studied at Queen’s from 1978-81. He died in 2002 at the age of 47. Each year Queen’s welcomes an undergraduate student from Japan on a one-year term of study through the scholarship.
Ms. Onose says that along with the learning opportunities the scholarship also offers a great chance to meet people from around the world.
“One of the reasons I am really excited about studying international relations at Queen’s is, the fact that I can actually ask someone who comes from another part of the world, and get to know if something I previously learned is true,” she says, adding that she also has been able to take a step back and look at Japan from the outside, a perspective that she feels is valuable.
At Queen’s she says she is enjoying being able to easily interact with her instructors, something that is more difficult in Japan.
“I love how the professors are close to the students and are open for discussion,” she says. “They really want the students to succeed. They are just extremely helpful.”
While at Queen’s Ms. Onose is also hoping to take on a bit of an ambassadorial role and introduce her colleagues to Japan and its culture.
During their tour of universities in Asia earlier this year, Principal Daniel Woolf and Vice-Principal (Research) Steven Liss participated in the selection process for the scholarship. The scholarship was established in partnership with the Canadian Embassy in Japan.
Following his time at Queen’s, Prince Takamado remained a dedicated friend of the university and worked toward fostering a strong relationship between Canada and Japan.
In 1992, Queen's awarded him and honorary degree, in recognition of his major contribution to the mutual understanding and appreciation of the cultures of the peoples of Japan and Canada.
Queen’s launched its Comprehensive International Plan in August 2015 to support its internationalization efforts. Among the plan’s goals are strengthening Queen’s international research engagement and creating more opportunities for student mobility through programs like academic exchange programs. The plan also aims to attract high quality international students to Queen’s and to increase international educational opportunities on the Queen’s campus.