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Fulbright to Japan: HU Office Hours with Neil Donahue

Neil Donahue
Neil Donahue

Neil H. Donahue, PhD, vice provost for undergraduate academic affairs and professor of German and Comparative Literature, traveled to Japan this summer for a prestigious Fulbright seminar program. This award marked his second Fulbright honor.

Donahue was one of ten selected participants from the United States for the program in Japan this year. He spent two weeks in June with a rail pass in hand in cities such as Tokyo, Hiroshima and Kyoto, where he met with local university, government and corporate officials and received a systematic overview of higher education in Japan.

Donahue is using the opportunity to forge some personal connections and alliances that will lead to exchanges and study partnerships between Hofstra and universities there.  “We have successful academic partnerships in other parts of East Asia, but not yet in Japan,” he noted.

Sushi at 8 a.m. with the president of Kansai University was one of the many cultural experiences Donahue was able to enjoy throughout his travels. “For me, this was the trip of a lifetime,” said Donahue, whose interest in Japanese culture dates back to the mid-1990s when he taught the first course at Hofstra on Japanese literature.

Donahue advises students at Hofstra on all applications for prestigious scholarships. “Filling out an application like this is almost a separate craft,” said Donahue. “You need someone to critique so you can revise over and over and over again. And you can’t get one of these unless you apply.” Donahue also says the application process for these awards is an exercise in self-discovery. It’s a concentrated effort that pays dividends even if you don’t get it. “One can’t take rejection personally. You learn about yourself in the process and it helps to build professional maturity.”

Click here for a look at some additional photos from Donahue’s trip to Japan.

Donahue also talks about this trip in this installment of HU Office Hours.


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