It is no secret that Wellesley offers students many opportunities for global study, travel, and exploration. I recently received a postcard that reminded me of the transformative experiences that such opportunities provide. Postmarked in Kyoto, Japan, the postcard was sent by Wellesley students and their professor, who were just finishing up a successful Wintersession course there.
This past January, Jim Kodera, professor of religion, traveled with 11 students to Kyoto for a hands-on course focused on the religion and culture of the city. Students explored topics such as Shinto and Buddhism in traditional Japanese art and culture; Shinto and Japan’s appreciation of nature; the history of religion and nationalism in Japan; and religion in contemporary Japanese society and politics. While working on their research projects, our Wellesley students collaborated with students from Doshisha University and had a great get together with Wellesley alumnae in Tokyo.
I was delighted to read the sentiments that the students expressed in the postcard. They described their time in Japan as amazing, valuable, and inspiring. When they returned to Wellesley, I know these students brought a wealth of new inspiration and perspectives to the classroom, thanks to their transformative Kyoto experience.