Getting to know… Hiroshi Ota

Profiles

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

Related Stories

Getting to know… Sophie Ling-chia Wei
Getting to know… Satoshi Narihara
Getting to know… Kasira Cheeppensook