The Columns

W&L Student Wins Bridging Scholarship to Japan

— by on January 7th, 2012

Alex Wachi, a Washington and Lee University junior from Honolulu, is one of 20 undergraduate students from colleges and universities across the United States to win a Bridging Scholarship for study abroad at Kansai Gaidai University in Japan.

Wachi is the first W&L student to win the scholarship.

He will receive up to $4,000 to assist with living expenses while he studies in Japan. Since 1999, the U.S.-Japan Bridging Foundation has awarded 1,160 scholarships to students studying abroad in Japan.

Wachi, who was selected to the prestigious Kemper Scholars Program during his first year at W&L, is majoring in business administration and East Asian language and literature with an emphasis on Japan. He spent the spring term of his freshman year on a study abroad program in Kanazawa, Japan, and is interested in the comparative study of American and Japanese policies and perspectives on the problems faced by the homeless.

He is a member of Phi Eta Sigma national honor society, the Pan Asian Association for Cultural Exchange and the Students Association for International Learning. In addition to his notable academic and community service contributions, he is the recipient of numerous state and national commendations in both wrestling and judo.

The Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission is an independent federal agency promoting mutual understanding between the United States and Japan. The goal of the Bridging Project is to promote study abroad in Japan by larger numbers of American undergraduate students. The Association of Teachers of Japanese, a professional organization for teachers of Japanese language, literature, and culture, administers the scholarship program.

The 20 Bridging Scholars hail from a variety of schools — public and private, large universities and small colleges. Their majors range from computer science to fine art, but they share a common interest in Japan, its language and culture. Their destinations also vary, from giant campuses in Tokyo to intimate consortium programs in rural Japan.

News Contact:
Jeffery G. Hanna
Executive Director of Communications and Public Affairs
jhanna@wlu.edu
(540) 458-8459