On Thursday, December 24, 2015, the Aizu Sakura Lanka Society (Representative Marii Igarashi *1), a Herath Foundation affiliate, visited 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 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, seven 30kg 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 is also supporting our international students in many ways.
On the day, Society Representative Igarashi and providers of rice visited UoA. Representative Igarashi said, " Aizu-grown rice tastes really good and is well-received also by students from other rice-eating countries. I hope that you will satisfy your healthy appetite and study hard."

Administrative Office Director General Noriyuki Saito and Associate Professor Kim Rockell (the head of SAISUA (*3) and seven international students were also in attendance.
Director General Saito thanked for Sakura Lanka's support, saying "Some people say that Aizu-grown rice tastes so good that they could skip a side dish to eat more rice. We will accept international students also at the undergraduate school next year. Your continual support to our international students would be greatly appreciated."

Associate Professor Rockell expressed his thanks, stating, "Your rice is a great help for our international students. I am grateful for the relationship with people like you in this area."
After the ceremony, the attendees and international students had a pleasant talk about differences between Japan and their home countries, and student life.


*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 Kim Rockell

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