Posted November 12, 2019

Meet some of Temple University Japan’s most impressive students

Temple University, Japan Campus is home to a diverse student body and draws students from Japan, the United States and around the world. Get to know three students who came to the school with different backgrounds and goals.

Temple University, Japan Campus
Photography By: 
Ryan S. Brandenberg
Students from around the world come to Temple University, Japan Campus with a wide array of backgrounds, goals and interests.

Temple University, Japan Campus (TUJ) is home to a diverse student body that draws from Japan, the United States, and more than 60 countries around the world.

Students are drawn to the branch campus—the only place in Japan where students can earn an accredited four-year degree from an American university—for a wide variety of majors and to study alongside peers from myriad countries and cultures.

Meet three of TUJ’s notable students, who all came to study on the campus for vastly different reasons, but who’ve found similar community and excitement in their courses and activities there.

Rebekkah Nyack in Sangen-jaya

Rebekkah Nyack
Alberta, Canada
Sophomore international affairs major 
TUJ undergraduate

As a high-school student, Rebekkah Nyack found herself fascinated with Japanese culture and language, and she spent much of her time watching anime and reading manga—two well-known cultural phenomena in Japan. And with her dream of working in the realm of international affairs, TUJ seemed like the perfect fit when she began searching for a college.

“I always wanted to work in an embassy or be a diplomat or work with an international organization,” said Nyack, who grew up in Alberta, Canada and is now a sophomore studying international affairs at TUJ. “I thought that would be cool to be Canadian going to an American school in Japan.”

Nyack participated in a summer program for high schoolers at TUJ in 2015 and looked no further once she saw the school and Tokyo. TUJ’s diversity and its Tokyo location drew her in, and with its recent move to a new campus in Sangen-jaya, Nyack’s experience there has become even more rewarding.

“It’s made TUJ feel more like a university,” Nyack said of the move.

Nyack is heavily involved on campus, participating in the basketball club, drama club and student government, as well as working as a note-taker and escort for a student who is blind in her job with Disability Resource Services. She said that TUJ’s new campus has helped to increase participation in clubs and given her and other students more opportunities to connect and socialize, which is particularly important for her career goals. 

“I really enjoy socializing with people from different parts of the world, and I think TUJ is such a diverse campus,” Nyack said. “Working in international affairs, it’s always good to understand the people you’re talking to so you don’t offend anyone. I really appreciate [TUJ], because I know if I stayed in Canada and … did an international affairs program there, it wouldn’t be as diverse.” 

Michelle Intoccia in a TUJ art studio

Michelle Intoccia
Chester Springs, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
Senior advertising major
Main Campus student studying abroad at TUJ

Michelle Intoccia, an advertising major focusing on art direction, didn’t think studying abroad was in the cards for her until she started to plan for her senior year and realized she had the time and the freedom to pursue a semester away.

Having completed the majority of the classes required for her major and securing a job offer for after her May 2020 graduation, Intoccia decided that she’d study at TUJ the first semester of her senior year.

“Japan is so far away, and it’s such a different culture, and I just thought it would be an amazing opportunity,” Intoccia said. “So that’s why I decided to come here.”

After she graduates, Intoccia will move to Minneapolis to work as an art director at Target headquarters. During summer 2019, before she traveled to Japan to study abroad, Intoccia interned at the headquarters. Her internship experience was so successful that the company offered her a full-time position soon thereafter. 

Intoccia credits her courses with preparing her well for her internship.

“I was really just amazed by how I could use my skills from class and apply them to this internship,” she said. “I felt really prepared.”

She said taking art classes in Tokyo, a global fashion hub, will round out her preparation for a career in art direction well.

“I’ve pretty much taken my camera everywhere and just taken video and photos,” Intoccia said of Tokyo. “There’s definitely a lot of inspiration to draw from here.”

Eiji Hayashi at TUJ main entrance

Eiji Hayashi
Tokyo, Japan 
Senior international business studies major
TUJ undergraduate who studied abroad on Main Campus for the 2018–19 academic year

Growing up in Japan, Eiji Hayashi always dreamed of someday have the chance to travel to the United States.

Attending college at TUJ presented the international business studies major, who graduates in May, with the perfect opportunity to do that.

He spent his junior year studying in Philadelphia on Main Campus, where he made dozens of friends—some of whom have since come to TUJ to study abroad.

An avid soccer player since childhood, Hayashi plays futsal, similar to indoor soccer, at TUJ, and joined the club soccer team on Main Campus.  

“I had so many culture shocks” coming to the United States, Hayashi said. “But I made so many great friends. Students on Main Campus are really friendly … I felt welcome.” 

During his time on Main Campus, Hayashi took mostly marketing courses at the Fox School of Business, and he went to every pickup club soccer game at Geasey Field, calling those games his best memories of studying abroad in the States.

Hayashi said his experience studying at TUJ and the chance it gave him to study abroad in the U.S. will be invaluable to his future—both in his personal life and in his career.

“Because I’ve been to the United States on study abroad, the way I think is totally changed, in a good way,” Hayashi said. “I’m more open-minded than before. I have friends from different countries, and I have experienced different cultures … I also connected more with my own culture.” 

Temple University, Japan Campus is a branch campus of Temple University and the only four-year institution offering accredited American undergraduate and graduate degrees in Japan. Learn more about and explore TUJ’s new campus.