Semba-Norwalk Accepted to Prestigious Programs

By Natalie A. Trout
Marketing & Communications Specialist

Japanese culture and language have always been important to Canterbury's Miyako Semba-Norwalk '22. After all, her name is Japanese and her mother teaches Japanese at Carroll High School. Miyako, who has been a student at Canterbury since she was four years old, has learned about the sounds of the Japanese language, the writing system, traditional holidays, the education system, and more. She's even visited Japan twice, once with her family and another time she stayed with a host family for two weeks. 

"I'm very enthusiastic when it comes to learning about Japan because I enjoy it quite a lot, whether it's about the language or the culture," she said.

Miyako's love of all things Japan led her to apply for the Reischauer Scholars Program and the Indiana University Honors Program in Foreign Languages (IUHPFL). She was accepted into both.

The LanguageBird online program enabled Miyako to take Japanese for two years, and she credits Canterbury for helping with her writing skills required to apply for the programs.

"Since I've gone to Canterbury since I was a child, I believe the school supplied me the foundations for succeeding in high school, as well as college in the future," Miyako said. "The teachers at Canterbury are also always willing to help me and care about my success, which I'm very thankful for."

The Reischauer Scholars Program accepted Miyako based on a teacher recommendation, transcript, and an essay. The program is an online course for high school students sponsored by the Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education and the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. Only 25-30 students from around the United States are chosen each year for the program.

The IUHPFL program will take place over the summer of 2022, where Miyako will spend five weeks in Osaka, Japan in a complete immersion environment. Miyako said the experience will give her the opportunity to practice her language skills and to improve them by being completely immersed in the language and culture.

"I have something to look forward to after finishing my senior year at Canterbury," Miyako said. "I know I'll make so many new connections and great memories while I'm there. I'll also improve my language skills, as I'll only be able to speak Japanese while I'm there."