On Monday, December 26, 2016, the Aizu Sakura Lanka Society, a Herath Foundation affiliate, visited the UoA to present international students with gifts of Aizu-grown rice.

Food costs are one of the biggest financial burdens for international students studying in Japan. The Aizu Sakura Lanka Society (*1). has continued providing gifts of rice to our international students since 2001, hoping that they could "eat delicious Aizu rice and grow to love the region." This year, 12 30 kilogram bags of rice were presented to international students. The rice will be provided to the international students through the Support Association for International Students of the University of Aizu (SAISUA *2). The Sakura Lanka Society is also supporting our international students in many other ways.

On the day, Society Representative Marii Igarashi and providers of rice visited UoA. Prefectural Assembly Member Yoshitsugu Kobiyama, one of the providers, said, "I hope this tasty Aizu-grown rice helps your academic pursuits."

Administrative Office Director General Yasuji Miyamura and Associate Professor Tatsuki Kawaguchi (the vice president of SAISUA *3) and five international students were also in attendance.
Director General Miyamura thanked for Sakura Lanka's support, saying "We started acceptance of international students at the undergraduate school as well this year. Eating warm rice can make us feel warm too. Your continual support to our international students would be greatly appreciated."

A message from Associate Professor Julian Villegas (the president of SAISUA *4), who was absent from the ceremony, was delivered at the ceremony; "This is one of the examples of activities to develop friendship between our international students and people in this area. I hope such activities enhancing our friendship will blossom more than ever."

After the ceremony, the attendees and international students enjoyed conversation about their student life and their studies.


*1 The Aizu Sakura Lanka Society was established as an NPO in 1993 with the objective of sponsoring high school students in Sri Lanka who could not afford an education, holding international exchanges, and doing whatever possible to support Sri Lanka. The society is actively supporting the UoA's Sri Lankan graduate students.
*2 The Support Association for International Students of the University of Aizu (SAISUA) was founded in 2004 with the objective of providing both material and psychological support to international students studying at the University of Aizu. It is funded by the donations of UoA faculty and staff, Fukushima prefectural employees, labor unions, the Aizu Association for Industry-Academic Cooperation, and the people of the Aizu region. Its primary activity is providing scholarships and holding international exchanges both inside and outside the university with the people of the region.
*3 Associate Professor Tatsuki Kawaguchi
*4 Associate Professor Julian Villegas

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