I truly feel as if I had two extremely different, yet complementary educational experiences at American University and Ritsumeikan University.

LIND Joseph Anthony
Fourth-year Joint Degree Program (AU-home)

We interviewed LIND Joseph Anthony, a fourth-year Joint Degree Program AU-home student, about his college life and experience in both the US and Japan.

What motivated you to apply to the American University-Ritsumeikan University Joint Degree Program?

JosephWhen I started applying to university, I faced a dilemma. On one hand, I sought to explore my passion for all things political in Washington, D.C., the center of American politics. On the other hand, I wished to further develop my affinity for politics outside of the United States, especially in Japan. In fact, I developed a keen interest in the security posture of Japan and the larger Indo-Pacific region after living in Okinawa for three years during middle school. My insistence on returning to and studying in Japan was so strong that I even considered applying to a four-year undergraduate program in Japan. Eventually, as I continued to search for the perfect school for me, I stumbled upon the American University-Ritsumeikan University Joint Degree Program online. After conducting more research, I concluded that this was the perfect fit for me. This is a belief that I still maintain today as this program has allowed me to bridge the gap between the political contexts of both Japan and the United States in a way that supplies a well-rounded and truly global education that has equipped me with the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully complete my future goals.

What was the most fulfilling activity you participated in while at the American University?

JosephHonestly, some of my most fulfilling experiences at American University occurred in the classroom. As part of my advanced research course, I took a class about Game Theory. To this day, it is the most thought-provoking course that I have participated in. Throughout the class, I created an independent research project in which I studied contingencies, probabilities, and simulations and addressed the potential outcomes of hypothetical inter-state conflict between major actors such as Japan, China, and the United States in the Indo-Pacific. Overall, I was able to demonstrate my intellectual curiosity and apply my knowledge to real-world contexts in a way that emulates challenges that I plan to further research in the future.

Could you tell us a few episodes about what impressed you in Japan, Kyoto or Ritsumeikan University?

JosephDespite having previous experience living in Japan, I have found my time in Kyoto new and refreshing. Outside of the classroom, I have been fortunate enough to be able to explore Kyoto in a way that I have never been able to adventure around a city before. As a self-proclaimed history nerd, Kyoto has been the perfect city for me. It seems with every turn of a corner, there is always another beautiful shrine or temple to explore. On campus, I was extremely impressed with the breadth of extracurricular activities available to join. I have even been able to explore another side of myself by entering the pottery club where I have even been able to present my artwork in an art show.

Do you have anything you want to challenge or try to achieve in your second year at Ritsumeikan University?

JosephAs I begin my last year at Ritsumeikan University, I want to seize the opportunity to continue advancing and fine-tune my Japanese language skills with a longer-term goal of reaching fluency. I have chosen to use my elective credits to continue taking Japanese language courses which I supplement with exchanges with language partners. I have also signed-up for the JLPT exam for the first time which has acted as extra motivation to study the language diligently.

What are your career intentions or thoughts after graduation?

JosephAfter graduation, I intend to continue to pursue my passion for political and security relations between the United States and Japan and more loosely, the Indo-Pacific region. Specifically, I believe that a career as a Foreign Service Officer in the Department of State or a related job within the Department of Defense would best suit my skillset and knowledge.

November 2023