Getting to know… Hiroshi Ota


A series introducing the Visiting Scholars & Fellows in residence at HYI this year

Hiroshi Ota (Professor, Center for General Education, Hitotsubashi University; HYI Visiting Scholar, 2023-24)
“Innovative Strategies and Practices at Higher Education Institutions in the U.S.: Reconceptualizing Internationalization in the Post-COVID Era”

What got you interested in your research topic?

While working as a staff member at Toyo University in Tokyo after graduating from the undergraduate program, I met international students and was inspired by their dreams and ambitions. Then, when I was transferred to the International Education Office at this university, I became keenly interested in the overseas study of domestic students, too. I saw cases where students’ lives and careers took a great leap forward by studying across borders, and at the same time, I learned about the difficulties and challenges of studying in a foreign country. As a result of these experiences, I worked to develop expertise in policies, practices, and teaching and learning related to international education and student mobility. Finally, I decided to pursue research in this area.

Outside of work, where can we find you?

You will find me at Fresh Pond in Cambridge. I love to walk or bike around there. You will also find me at ski areas in Massachusetts and New Hampshire through April.

What would you want to do most as a career if you were not in academia?

That would be a comedian or a school teacher.

Ever since I was a kid, I dreamed of being a comedian. I used to do standup comedy in the classroom. I took pleasure in the fact that my classmates laughed a lot at my performance. However, after high school, I gave up that path because I was rejected by the art college I desperately wanted to go. Then, I thought a school teacher could be an entertainer, so I tried to become a high school teacher in college, but that didn’t work out either. Well, my current job would be the last choice for my career.

Read Prof. Ota’s bio on our website

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