For the past two decades, several thousand of the best and brightest students from Tokyo, Japan have ended up traveling thousands of miles to attend and graduate from the University of Nevada, Reno. This opportunity comes as a result of the long-standing partnership between the University and the Nevada International Consortium-International College of Japan, which celebrated its 25th anniversary last month.
Students enrolled in the consortium go through an intensive, one-year program to prepare them for life in the English-speaking world, and go through a University orientation process during summer to familiarize them with the rules and way of life on the University of Nevada, Reno campus. Students then begin life like any other university student, living in the residence halls, taking regular classes and majoring in subjects such as journalism or business. Most students in the consortium graduate in four years with a University diploma, Vice President for Student Services Shannon Ellis said.
"When you see Japanese students on our campus, odds are they came from NIC," she said. "It's just like recruiting in Elko or Hug High (School)."
Regular students also benefit from the opportunity to work with students from the consortium, as it increases global awareness and helps to improve diversity on campus, University Vice Provost Bill Cathey said.
"Providing the opportunity for Nevada students to associate with their peers from Japan, and vice versa, is an important component of the University experience," he said. "Learning to work in the global environment is an objective of the University. The association with NIC has enabled this objective to be accomplished."
Part of the reason that the consortium chose to partner with the University was location, as administrators wanted a nonurban campus that looked like a classic American university, Ellis said. Years later, the college began sending students to more than 200 universities, such as the University of California, Berkeley, New York University and the University of Cambridge, but the consortium has continued to honor the University in Reno by keeping Nevada in its name.
The program is not an exchange program, as University of Nevada, Reno students go through the University Studies Abroad Consortium to study in other countries. Rather, the Nevada International Consortium is designed to help teach Japanese students English-speaking skills and the knowledge that comes with living in another country.
"The goal is to send them back to Japan with a broader perspective of the world," Ellis said.