Meet Yuki Kajihara

Adapting to New Classroom Dynamics

Japanese junior studying marketing at Elmhurst

International student Yuki Kajihara was surprised how much students participate in class.

“The students speak out and ask questions of the professor,” she said. “In Japan, the students are silent when the professor talks.”

A native of Osaka, Kajihara is spending her junior year at Elmhurst, studying business and marketing. She selected Elmhurst because of its proximity to Chicago and the area’s wealth of companies. With small classes, it would be easier to connect with professors, she concluded.

She also has been amazed that President Troy D. VanAken speaks often with students.

In Japan, we rarely have a chance to talk to the president—it is rare to even see him.

Yuki on interacting with President VanAken

Kajihara is majoring in marketing at her home school in Osaka, Kansai Gaidai University. She’ll spend her senior year at Nangyang Technological University in Singapore—another business capital. Her career focus: international marketing for cosmetics or apparel.

When she arrived in mid-August, everything seemed outsized. “The highway has so many lanes in one direction, and every building and store is big,” she said. “In Japan the land is limited, so buildings are crowded together.”

Kajihara has joined the International Club, which brings together students from different backgrounds. The group recently visited the Bahai Temple and gardens in Wilmette, “which are beautiful and made me relaxed.”

One Chicago treat that surprised her is the Portillo’s hot dog.

“I just expected bread and sausage, but there are so many toppings,” she said.

The number of squirrels roaming campus was unexpected: “They don’t run wild in Japan.”

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