With COVID travel restrictions finally coming to an end, the Tohoku University STEM Summer Program (TSSP) was once again held in Sendai after an absence of 4 years. 24 students from partner universities across the globe traveled to Japan for the 4-week intensive program focusing on science as well as the unique culture of the Tohoku region. The students were immersed in science lectures and laboratory tours including robotics engineering, protein folding, spintronics, and many others. They even had the opportunity to visit NanoTerasu, the new world-class synchrotron radiation facility being built in Sendai. They also learned Japanese languages and Japanese traditional cultures including the tea ceremony, flower arrangement, sword smithing, and aikido. Perhaps the most impactful and influential event for the students though was a visit to the coast area, such as Minamisanriku and Arahama where they learned about the effects of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.


At the conclusion of the program, the students each gave a presentation relating their experiences and feelings during their brief time in Japan. The course had been a memorable one for them, many students expressed their motivation to pursue a graduate degree abroad, and of course many friendships had been forged between students and the student teaching assistants from Tohoku University that helped guide the program. The TSSP has been an incredible vehicle to enrich and strengthen the relationship between TU and its partner universities abroad by enhancing the understanding of Japan by foreign students and making them more aware of the international opportunities that await them in their graduate studies. We look forward to hosting future groups of TSSP students in the years to come.