Four Samoan scholars in Japan back home

After months of waiting to return home due to border closures, four Samoan students who studied in Japan have returned safely after completing their studies.

A statement issued by the Japanese Embassy in Samoa said the returning students were recipients of the Japanese Government (MEXT) Scholarship.They had completed their studies in Japan on March 2020 but remained there due to the closure of international borders.

The students include:

  •  Luteru Agaalii Tauvale who graduated with a Ph.D of Science in Meteorology from Nagoya University; 
  • Agape Feunai Papalii Tautau who graduated with a Ph.D in Agricultural Science from Kyushu University; 
  • Leativa Sonya Okesene who graduated with a Master’s Degree in Global Environmental Studies from Kyoto University; 
  • Robert Bartley who graduated with a Master’s Degree in Public Policy in the area of infrastructure from Ritsumeikan University.

Back home, the students were invited to the Embassy of Japan on Thursday where they met with the Counsellor and Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of Japan in Samoa Isao Kishi. They were presented with their graduating certificates.

The scholars also shared their experiences while they were studying and living in Japan for the past three to five years.

Further, they also shared that they would utilise their learning experiences and achievement to contribute to the development of Samoa as well as to strengthen the ties between Japan and Samoa. 

They all expressed their grateful and heartfelt appreciation to the Government of Japan for giving such opportunities for them to realise their academic purposes. 

They are all glad to be back home, and at the same time missing Japan and its beautiful environment. 

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