Kimberly Julien

In the summer of 2011, I attended the 63th Japan-America Student Conference as an American Delegate. The Japan-America Student Conference (JASC) is a yearly conference held over the summer. It is entirely student-run with support from an organization called International Student Conferences. JASC is a unique opportunity for students from all over the country to share academic experiences and form long-lasting friendships. JASC is held in various cities in the United States and Japan, alternating between the countries each year; the 63rd JASC was held in Japan. We visited Niigata, Kyoto, Okinawa, and Tokyo, and each city welcomed us warmly. On the 63rd JASC, I participated in the Comprehensive Security roundtable, which examined security issues between the U.S. and Japan, as well as both countries’ role in security around the world. The culmination of the conference is an event called Final Forum, which is a presentation by each of the roundtables on what they have discussed and their plans to make a difference in the future. The Final Forum is open to the public, and a chance for students to get their opinions out to important leaders in the community. Because I loved my JASC experience so much, I became a member of the Executive Committee for the 64th JASC, which took place in the summer of 2012, and was held in four different sites across the United States. I was in charge of Health Coordination, as well as the Personal and National Identity roundtable. During the year-long planning process of the 64th JASC, I learned the intimate details of working with a large team, and cross-cultural communication. During the conference itself, I learned about being sensitive to culture differences and culture shock, and how to effectively communicate even through a language barrier. My experiences in leading the 64th JASC have proved invaluable, and have given me the confidence to become all that I know I can. I’ve made countless friends, both in America and Japan, and take pride in the knowledge that I will carry on the JASC mission of creating and maintaining a close relationship between the two countries.