Please note that there will be no TOMODACHI-STEM program in 2020. Information about the 2021 program will be posted to this page.


TOMODACHI Rice logo_v2

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。

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

  • “I hope to work in an environment where there are as many female leaders and workers as there are men, and science and STEM outreach are valued. Diversity brings excellent and unique ideas, and I was able to experience such diversity during my stay in the U.S. I want to remember the overall environment that I experienced and hope to find graduate school labs and jobs that have such atmospheres.” ~ Hiroko Nagafuchi, Waseda University
  • “I would like to emphasize how beneficial this program is especially for freshman (B1) students. This program gave me great opportunities to consider about my future career, and I was able to learn a lot of interesting things which are never known for me while I’m in Japan. Thanks to this program, now I want to get a Ph.D. in the United States… I hope more and more freshman know about this program and consider about attractive future alternatives. I also would like to spread about this program in my university if the next program is decided. ~ Sawa Shimokawa, Osaka University
  • “Back in Japan, I started studying a clinical clerkship at hospital. It is very different from Japanese style classes, more similar to what I experienced in the U.S. Students should learn clinical medicine on ourselves. In a positive way, I feel comfortable asking more questions than some of my other team mates do. In addition, my confidence encourages me to visit other countries. My interest in international opportunities has become stronger and stronger and I feel this is a desirable goal to have. Now, I hope to live abroad in the future. The message I want to share with potential applicants is that the TOMODACHI STEM program will widen your future possibilities. I wish you could have such a precious experience too.” ~ Miho Sakuma, Tokyo Women’s Medical University
  • “Before this program, I thought that Japan is such a small country in the world of
    science. However, I met so many people who are interested in doing research in
    Japan, like an undergraduate aspiring to get Ph.D. in Japan, and a graduate who
    wants to work as a post doc in Japan. There are also many people who are interested in Japanese culture. I communicated with such people, hearing about the U.S. situation and telling about Japanese situation within my knowledge. I could
    somehow understand the importance of Japan in the scientific field and be an
    ambassador of my own country…” ~ Ms. Makiko Ogino, University of Tokyo

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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