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Developing In-Depth Insights on Japan

Sarah Pham
MA ’21
Japan Studies
Recipient of the Boren Fellowship

Sarah Pham was initially drawn to Johns Hopkins SAIS for its strong emphasis on Economics, which she felt was missing from her undergraduate experience as a Political Science major. The Japan Studies concentration and the support it receives from the Edwin O. Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies in particular enticed Sarah. She was eager to learn from the visiting scholars from Japan who gave seminars on campus. Additionally, her discussions with faculty during the school’s Open House cemented her decision to enroll.

During the 2019 winter break, Sarah participated on the Kakehashi Trip, a fully funded trek to Japan for the purposes of learning about US-Japan relations and the public diplomacy efforts involved. In the spring, she took another opportunity to visit Japan to conduct research on the country’s recent trade deal with the EU and ongoing trade negotiations with the UK.

One of Sarah’s favorite experiences at the school so far has been her Korean language class, which has been joyful despite the challenging grammar lessons. Her Korean language instructor and other professors have made the school a wonderful place to learn and grow both professionally and personally.

As a Boren Fellow, after graduation Sarah will accept a job with the US government where she plans to serve her country by finding ways to improve relations with other nations.

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