International Newsletter

Student of the Month: Aki Satouchi - Japan

By Lansing Bryan, July 7, 2017

Why did you choose Green River College?

I kept reading about students that went to Green River College in study abroad magazines. I read about the classes they took, their goals and accomplishments. I thought it must be good school. (Aki was particularly inspired by Yu Sato who transferred to UC Berkeley).

How did Green River help you achieve your transfer goals?

Green River helped me build confidence.

I started out in Intensive English Level 4. This class helped me improve my English a lot. It was a good environment for me to start in because I was with students who were at the same level as me. The Intensive English Program helped me make friends. I created a strong bond with my classmates because we had similar struggles with the language and culture. Listening and speaking were always the hardest for me. However, my instructor, Eugene was really funny and he made the class fun.

During my first quarter, I was able to take the TOEFL test and get a high enough score to transfer into Academics. I was not sure I was ready, but my instructor Patrick Mumpower, really encouraged me.

My next goal was to decide on a major and get into a 4-year university. My advisor, Andaiye helped me by encouraging me to take two assessment tests: Strengthquest and Strong Interest Inventory which helped me to decide on a direction for my major. I then took my first Political Science class with my favorite instructor, Alison Jansen. She along with my host family inspired me to learn more about international relations. I then took Comparative Government class in spring 2016 with Allison Jansen. That confirmed the direction of my major. I really liked that class.

What was one of your most memorable experiences at Green River College?

Green River inspired me to believe in myself.

I never thought I’d be able to get 4.0 in a class. I saw many students getting these grades and transferring to UC Berkeley, UCLA and Michigan. Even though I was not friends with those people, when I heard the news and read the testimonials I was really encouraged and inspired by their accomplishments and how far it is possible to go. I decided then I would be that person. I told myself, "If they can do it, let me try." I found my confidence at Green River College. I had no idea what I wanted to do when I first came here, then I found my purpose. I probably would not have majored in International Studies if I were studying in Japan.

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