LEAPer Kazuhiro Harada Enjoys Eight Months at UA


Kazuhiro Harada and UA President Stuart Bell at the International Student Welcome Reception.

Kazuhiro Harada arrived at UA in August 2018 prepared for eight months of hands-on learning about higher education in the United States. Harada, an administrator at Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan, was chosen as a participant in a year-long program called LEAP (Long-term Education Administrators Program) to enhance his knowledge in American culture and education administration. All LEAP participants are staff members at Japanese universities and employees of MEXT, the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.


After participating in a 10-week training program at Montana State University, Harada arrived in Tuscaloosa prepared to encounter the culture of Southern hospitality he had heard so much about. Harada says he chose to come to UA because of its location in the South, large size, and well-known traditions. Additionally, he felt that the departments in the Capstone International Center could provide him with excellent professional development opportunities, allowing him to gain a greater understanding of higher education in the United States. While working in the CIC, Harada took a class in the English Language Institute, assisted Education Abroad with project planning, shadowed International Student and Scholar Services staff, and provided insight into the similarities and differences between the Japanese and American education system, among other things.


Harada attended the Japan America Society of Alabama annual dinner at Regions Field in Birmingham.

Harada finished his eight months at UA in March 2019 with greatly improved English language skills and hands-on experience in the American workplace. He returns to Japan eager to implement his new knowledge, skills, and ideas at Kyushu University. In addition to working at the CIC, Harada was also able to travel outside of Alabama in order to experience other regions of his host country firsthand. Not only did he visit places close to UA, such as New Orleans, Panama City Beach, Nashville, and Atlanta, but he also made it all the way to Alaska! The CIC office is grateful to Harada and the LEAP program for the unique international perspective and collegiate support that this exchange provided, and they wish him all the best for his future endeavors!