UMF offers Japanese Language and Culture courses as it resumes longstanding Fellowship Program

University warmly welcomes visiting Japanese Fellow Yukiko Usui Sensei

FARMINGTON, ME  (November 1, 2023)—The University of Maine at Farmington is pleased to announce that it has resumed its longstanding Japanese Language Fellowship Program, which was briefly interrupted by Covid.

The program welcomes visiting Japanese Fellow, Yukiko Usui Sensei, who is offering courses in Elementary Japanese Language and Japanese Culture & Society for fall 2023 and spring 2024. The language course focuses on conversational and written Japanese and the culture course introduces Japanese culture with a variety of interesting activities, including preparing sushi and using calligraphy.

Visiting Japanese Fellow, Yukiko Usui Sensei

Yukiko Usui Sensei is a Fellow with the ALLEX Foundation, an organization founded in 1988 to provide universities with an economical means to establish or enhance Asian language programs on their campuses. UMF welcomed their first ALLEX Fellow in 2013 and hosted four fellows through the spring of 2021. Since the organization’s inception, over 230 universities have hosted their teachers to start or enhance language offerings.

Usui Sensei comes from Hiroshima, Japan where she attended Hiroshima University majoring in education. She became interested in the ALLEX program given its mission of advancing global understanding through education and learning about other cultures. She applied to the program this past spring and received online and face-to-face training this summer prior to coming to Farmington in August.

“Working for the foundation and being an ambassador for Japan and its language and culture at Farmington is really a dream job for me,” said Usui. “I love traveling, meeting new people and seeing the smiles on my students faces as they explore Japanese culture and language.”

The Japanese Language course is available to full-time students and members of the public as in-person and online courses. The online format is synchronous with students and faculty attending together in real-time.

The culture course is only offered in-person given the experiential components. Funding for the cultural activities is provided by an Undergraduate International Studies & Foreign Language grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

For more information about the UMF Japanese Language program, contact Linda Beck, associate dean of Experiential and Global Education at, or 207-778-7122.

More About the UMF Office of Experiential and Global Education

The UMF Japanese Language program is supported by the UMF Office of Experiential and Global Education. The Office of Global Education coordinates services for international and study away students, travel courses, virtual exchanges, faculty exchange participants and international visiting scholars.

It also serves as a resource to the university and as a liaison to the broader community in matters of an international nature. This past summer the University offered a Fusion Course that included a 10-day trip to Japan for first-year students at UMF. The incoming students visited Tokyo, Akita, and Kyoto, Japan where they immersed themselves in Japanese culture, history and food. They documented their experience with travel diaries, drawing inspiration from historical artworks, the diaries of historical Japanese travelers and their own experiences through writing, photography, video and sound recording, drawing or painting. Several of these students are also enrolled this fall in the Japanese Language and Culture courses.

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Photo Caption: Visiting Japanese Fellow, Yukiko Usui Sensei
Photo Credit: Submitted Image

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