The Mazda Foundation recently announced the scholarship recipients of the 2012 Youth for Understanding (YFU) international high school exchange program. Freshman Nicholas Hougland was one of eight teenagers selected to spend six weeks of the upcoming summer living with host families near Hiroshima, Japan.
The YFU program has been funded since 1984 with the intent of promoting understanding in cultures across the globe. The scholarship includes transportation for the students as well as an orientation before their departure.
“I found out about YFU because my dad works for Mazda. It’s an exchange program for the sons and daughters of employees. When I explored the website and read about it, I really liked it and wanted to go,” Hougland said.
In addition to living with host families, the students in the program learn to speak, read and write in Japanese.
“I’m studying Japanese online. Everyone who got the scholarships got a discount on the Rosetta Stone program,” Hougland said.
During the course of the program, the recipients of the scholarship also visit Mazda’s international corporate headquarters, located inHiroshima.
“I’m very excited to go toJapanand see all of the different parts of their culture,” Hougland said. “I’ve been toItalyand other parts of Europe before, but I’ve never been toAsiabefore.”