Sarah Emily Adams

International Experience Country:
Cohort Year:
Home Institution:

University of Pittsburgh | Greensburg

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International Experience Summary:

Sarah Emily Adams took on the life of a typical Japanese girl as she spent four weeks this past summer in Tokyo, Japan. She was a student at Sophia University – a well-known Catholic university located in central Tokyo – where she studied Japanese language, Japanese art, and Japanese religion. Sarah explored many Buddhist and Shinto shrines in order to better understand the national religions in addition to visiting a number of museums to study famous Japanese art work. Although her Japanese class was difficult, Sarah received friendly support and assistance from her host mother, Tomoko, as they sat together each night reviewing simple vocabulary and kanji. Sarah tried many traditional foods including: real ramen, curry, fresh sushi, tofu, nashi (Japanese pear), momo (Japanese peach), fresh wasabi, edamame, and sake. In addition to learning how to make traditional Japanese dishes, Sarah also learned how to: play Japanese taiko drums, create traditional Japanese flower arrangements, perform a chanoyu or tea ceremony, and enjoy a dip in a Japanese onsen, or hot spring. As she opened her eyes to daily Japanese life, she was amazed to see the amount of suffering still remaining from the massive earthquake and tsunami that hit last year. In fact, Sarah experienced several aftershocks and mini earthquakes as a result from the major earthquake last year. Upon this experience, Sarah joined a support group that wrote encouraging letters to young school children in order to provide a sense of hope and enlightenment. Overall, Sarah’s experience in Japan has opened her eyes to the world around her and encouraged her to continue her studies in Japanese in the hopes of attaining fluency.

Community Engagement Experience Summary:

CEE Title: Our Community is Everywhere

For her CEE Our Community is Everywhere, Sarah helped create a PowerPoint presentation that highlighted natural disasters in Haiti, Japan, Costa Rica, and the Horn of Africa. After showing a short clip entitled Fault Lines- Horn of Africa Crisis: Drought Zone, Sarah and her teammate went into greater detail on the status of disaster victims in Haiti, Costa Rica, and Japan. From devastating images to startling facts and statistics, the team of two encouraged the audience to become more globally involved during times of natural disasters.