IWU Student to Spend Junior Year Abroad in Japan
Junior Sikiru Tijani displays one of his works of art. Tijani also has an interest
in Japanese anime.
June 13, 2006
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. - Blooming cherry blossoms, Mount Fuji, raw fish, very little space
- all things one might think of when dreaming of Japan, that small archipelago just
off the coast of Korea. For Sikiru Tijani, an Illinois Wesleyan University junior
international business and Japanese studies double major from Flossmoor, Ill., Japan
is more than that - it is the flavor the Japanese put into their cartoon drawings
called anime. "The whole fantasy realm," as he puts it, is what initially captured
his interest in the country back in eighth grade-and now he plans to spend his junior
year abroad on the island.
Tijani has also received thousands of dollars in scholarship money to study abroad.
He received a $4,000 Bridging scholarship as well as being nominated for another scholarship
by the school he will attend, Keio University, located in Tokyo.
Tijani grew up familiar with crossing continents, having a family that extends across
oceans: his parents grew up in Africa, in the country of Ghana, emigrating to America
in the late 1960's, and Tijani still has family in Africa who he has visited since
birth. It was in Africa that he discovered his love for Japan, when he started drawing
anime on a family trip.
Since entering IWU, Tijani has studied the Japanese language and country as much as
possible. Last summer, he was able to take advantage of the Technos International
College program, which sponsors qualifying students in a two-week program in Japan
after their first or second year in college.
This coming year in Japan, Tijani will have classes six times a week in the Japanese
language, the components of which are reading, writing, listening, and speaking.
He will also take classes in Japanese business and comparative literature to fulfill
prerequisites for Illinois Wesleyan.
After much preparation and anticipation, Tijani holds an excited sway over his coming
trip: "When I learned I would have this opportunity, I told myself that I wouldn't
limit myself to any experiences. Not to be so hasty, saying no, no, no - that's not
what I'm used to; but [instead] just get involved, grasp new things, and just go for
Contact: Leslie Boelter, (309) 556-3181