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The TOMODACHI-STEM @ Rice University for Female Students is a five-week research internship program for 10 female undergraduates from Japan who are majoring in science & engineering (S&E). Held at Rice University in Houston, TX, the program will enable students to gain real world experience with S&E research, provide an introduction to U.S. higher education and provide opportunities for cultural engagement and collaboration with U.S. students. The program will serve as a catalyst for female Japanese students interested in S&E study and research and engagement with the U.S. through international research collaborations.

TOMODACHI STEM Program @ Rice University は、日本の大学で理系学部を専攻する女性の大学生10名を対象とした5週間の研究インターンシッププログラムです。同プログラムは、テキサス州ヒューストンにあるライス大学にて行われ、大学の研究室に属して最先端の研究活動に触れると同時に、アメリカの高等教育システムを体験し、米国人学生との交流活動を通して言語や文化を学ぶ機会を提供します。このプログラムは、国際共同研究を通じて、理工学研究に興味を持つ日本人女子学生に、アメリカとの連携のきっかけを提供することを目的としています。

2019 TOMODACHI STEM students at Dow Chemical.

The program’s impact can best be highlighted through the words of some of our alumni

  • “In Japan, there are not so many opportunities to meet female students in different fields. Through this program, I met nine Japanese students studying STEM and we spent five weeks together. I was impressed that everyone really loved their own fields and was passionate about their studies. At the same time, they were very respectful for other’s research. I was inspired by all of the other participants to study more, not only about my own field but about other academic fields. I really appreciated the nine best friends who joined together, my host professor and lab members, the program sponsors, and everyone providing me such an wonderful chance to study abroad.” ~ Ayaka Kasamatsu, 2019 Participant
  • “The meaning of the TOMODACHI STEM @ Rice University program to me is the great opportunity to interact with a lot of female STEM researchers and to learn about the differences in education and jobs between Japan and the U.S. It is said that the rate of female researchers in Japan is the smallest in the all developed countries. In particular, the rate of female researchers in physics is much smaller than other fields such as biology, chemistry and data science. Through this program, I could meet a lot of female researchers and female STEM students. I could interview them and learn about their attitudes and ways of thinking as a woman in STEM. I would not be able to have such a wonderful opportunity in Japan.” ~ Yurina Nakazato, 2019 Participant
  • Thanks to TOMODACHI STEM program, my motivation was improved. After going back to Japan, I started to join laboratory tours in some universities to know more about their research topics and discover which topic I am most interested in. I am surprised to find myself more active and positive than before joining this program… I may not find have found this significant key for my future goals if I had not participated in this program. I really appreciate this program and people who supported us. I believe future participants will also find something which helps them reach their future goals through this program.” ~ Haruka Sumi, 2019 Participant

TOMODACHI_WhiteFramed-4The TOMODACHI Initiative is a public-private partnership, born out of support for Japan’s recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake, that invests in the next generation of Japanese and American leaders through educational and cultural exchanges as well as leadership programs. We seek to foster a “TOMODACHI generation” of young American and Japanese leaders who are committed to and engaged in strengthening U.S.-Japan relations, appreciate each other’s countries and cultures, and possess the global skills and mindsets needed to contribute to and thrive in a more cooperative, prosperous, and secure world.

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