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Notable graduates: Ryosuke Shibuya — Breaking through language barriers

May 14, 2008

From UW-Madison Communications

When Ryosuke Shibuya came to Madison in 2002, he had more of an adjustment to make than the average freshmen. Arriving from his home country of Japan, Shibuya did not speak any English. Six years later, he’s graduating with a degree in history.

Shibuya says his first year was spent solely taking classes to learn English. In his second year, he took classes at Edgewood College, and then transferred to UW-Madison to study history.

He says that he looked at several universities in the United States — including the University of California-Los Angeles, New York University and the University of North Carolina — before settling on UW-Madison. He says he chose this school for its size, affordability and diverse international community. With more than 3,000 international students, UW-Madison is ranked in the top 20 U.S. universities for international students.

In the past 18 months, Shibuya has been involved in the Reach program, which places international students as speakers in Madison area schools, on campus and in community organizations to share information about their home countries and life experiences.

Shibuya has focused on contemporary and Middle Eastern history in his studies at UW-Madison, and says he hopes to work for the U.S. federal government some day.

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