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Sixteen students from junior high and high schools in areas most affected by the earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan in March have been invited by the U.S. government on an official tour to help American teenagers learn about the region and the disaster. Two MIIS alumni, Camellia Nieh (MATI ‘06) and Kayo Shiraishi (MACI ‘08) will be serving as interpreters for the Japanese students as they travel through the U.S.

Ten of the students from Japan were selected from the specific areas where two Americans, Montgomery Dickson and Taylor Anderson, fell victim to the tsunami while serving in the Japan Exchanges and Teaching (JET) program as assistant language teachers. Another six students come from other devastated areas in the same region. “This is an exchange project to honor the two who died while on their way to accomplish their goals,” said a JET official quoted by the Japan Times.

When the earthquake and tsunami struck Japan in March, the Monterey Institute’s tight-knit international campus community banded together immediately in search of ways to help those affected. Led by a group of Japanese-American faculty, staff and students, the community mobilized to raise more than $27,000 for relief efforts.

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Jason Warburg

Eva Gudbergsdottir