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UT graduate Yuki Minami, of Baltimore, Maryland, is at Kyushu University in Japan researching the role of Japanese women under the imperial government from 1910 to 1945 on a Fulbright Student Award. She is one of the 19 UT students who received the prestigious award last year, making UT one of the nation’s top-producing campuses for students receiving 2018–19 US Fulbright Student Awards.

Yuki Minami with a display in the Fukuoka Tower
Yuki Minami with a display in the Fukuoka Tower

A student veteran, Minami graduated in May graduate with a degree in modern foreign languages and literatures focusing on Japanese language and world business. She left for Japan in August and her Fulbright continues until July.

What’s been the best part of your experience?

“My experience so far has been filled with adventure, but also challenges,” she said.

She’s been called upon to lead classroom discussions and give presentations in her graduate-level Japanese course. Outside of her studies, she’s enjoyed meeting people and venturing out to restaurants in the area.

She’s also eager to build a network with people from various backgrounds and professions who have been in Japan on Fulbright awards.

What have you learned about your host country?

“I didn’t know how each region could be so different. Before the Fulbright I studied in Tokyo, so I thought the experience would be similar.”

Kyushu University is in Fukuoka on Japan’s Kyushu island.

“Fukuoka is like a Japanese version of Knoxville,” she said. “Kyushu has Southern traditions, and people are friendly, not afraid to talk to a stranger, and willing to learn different cultures.”

How will this experience help you in the future?

“I’ve already created a friendship and relationship with a professor who is in my field,” she said. She thinks this faculty member will become a mentor and someone she can collaborate with in the future.

What’s next for you?

“I am going to apply to graduate school in Japan for modern Japanese literature. I am also looking into job opportunities in the international education field since I want to utilize my experience overseas to help other students.”

UT students interested in the Fulbright or other national scholarships and fellowships should meet with the Office of National Scholarships and Fellowships staff.


Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,