Temple University, Japan Campus (TUJ) hosted eleven select students from the University of Oregon (U of O) for the first summer internship program at companies and institutions based around Tokyo. This eight-week program was tailor-made upon the U of O’s request as an inter-university partnership. From mid-June to early August, these U of O students benefited from TUJ’s extensive experience with organizing internships in Japan. Students earned course credits as they gained valuable work experience in Tokyo.
With an extensive network built up over many years, TUJ’s internship program, with both credit-bearing and non-credit internships, has sent over 1,200 students, both Japanese and foreign, to companies and institutions in Japan. The number has grown ten-fold over the past ten years. This is the first time for TUJ to host a group of short-term study abroad students from the U.S. just for a credit-bearing internship program.
Scott Fleishman, U of O’s Asian Studies major, interned at a Holland-based sports timing system innovator, MYLAPS Japan, and commented that, “It’s been fun to practice my Japanese, and now I feel comfortable in a work environment and confident in skills I used here.”
Marketing major senior Joy Doane looked back on her past two months with a global digital advertising agency, Mullenlowe Profero Tokyo, and shared her takeaway. “The biggest thing I learned was that international agencies must offer extra value and be more agile in order to compete with established Japanese companies in the advertising industry here,” she said.
“Something I learned was more of how to work with Japanese and some foreigners in a cross cultural environment,” Okinawa-born Shingo Kise, junior in general science, said of his internship in the finance department of Delta Air Lines in Tokyo.
The U.S. and Japanese governments set a goal of doubling the number of students studying in each other’s country by 2020. As a direct result of a joint statement by President Obama and Prime Minister Abe at their April 2014 summit, TUJ has hosted the TOMODACHI Internship Program to boost internship opportunities in Japan for American students.
This inter-university partnership began at the ‘TeamUp Forum‘ in Tokyo in 2015 when Dennis Galvan, Vice Provost for International Affairs, University of Oregon, met TUJ Dean Bruce Stronach and learned about the TUJ Internship Program.
Galvan shares the story behind the partnership: “The University of Oregon is expanding its internship offerings to provide a challenging and rewarding 21st century education to our students. Since U of O graduates come from a state where one in four jobs are linked to international trade, we need to prepare them for the workforce with firms and organizations that span the Pacific. Many of our students who study Japanese double major or minor in business or journalism and seek hands-on learning experiences where they can combine their professional degree preparation with their language skills. TUJ internships provided our students with unique opportunities to do both. We look forward to our continued collaborations.”
The TUJ Internship Program is one of the cornerstones of its career development initiatives for undergraduate students. The program has grown to currently encompass over 100 internship hosts, comprised of both public and private sectors including the U.S. Embassy, GE, IBM, and AIG. In order to meet the needs of its diverse student body, TUJ tries to keep a variety of sponsors available for students, in terms of industry, job type, size, etc. Internships are a growing trend among companies in Japan, and TUJ is at the forefront of developing university-led, long-term, and credit-bearing internship culture here.
For more information about our internship programs, please see our Career Support website.
To hear what students say about our internship programs, please visit the Student Intern Interviews section.