A recommendation from her college counselor first brought Kaoru Hoshino to Wittenberg, and when she arrived for a campus visit, she knew she could be happy here.
“I could see myself being here,” Hoshino said. “Almost everyone I met was very friendly and seemed happy being here. The impression I received was so great that I knew I had to come here.”
From home in Tokyo to two years of high school in Virginia, Hoshino found that it was easier for her to do well in a math class since math is universal, and she knew how to study despite her English competency at the time.
“The whole aspect of studying has changed since I came to Wittenberg and took some classes. Studying was not merely about being able to find a right solution,” Hoshino said. “While I continued taking math classes, I started to also like the nature of humanity courses – how they do not necessarily have one and only one answer to a problem in society, for instance. For many times in my freshman and sophomore years, I thought about majoring in mathematics, but to my surprise, I found myself more fit in humanity courses, dealing with people and society rather than numbers.”
Hoshino took classes from almost every discipline before declaring her major at the end of her sophomore year.
“I have learned that the more I studied, the more I found myself ignorant,” she said. “This was an important realization and soon became a motivation for me to study more. I have learned that there is no clear cut among the courses; everything is related to one another. For instance, when I was taking a sociology class, there was always something directly or indirectly relating to the materials that I was learning in a history or an East Asian studies class. I was delighted whenever I found those connections.”
In addition to Phi Beta Kappa, the Wittenberg Honors Program and several other honor societies, Hoshino plays trumpet in the Wittenberg Symphonic Band and the Wittenberg Brass Choir; she also plays piano.
Hoshino plans to return to Japan and find a job after graduation, and she will carry what she has learned wherever she goes.
“I have met many people, either American or international, with whom I share many values and view,” she said. “I used to think people from different parts of world could be so different from one another, but I have realized that we are not that different people, no matter where we are from, what nationality we possess, or what culture or religious view(s) we represent.”