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Monte-Angel Richardson

Research in Japan

  • Curriculum Track:
    20 Month

I was abroad for 8 weeks for my Global Independent Study project. My project involved research which included interviews with community members and memorial site visits to the Nagasaki Peace Park and Hiroshima Peace Memorial park. My aim was to understand Japanese resident’s perspectives on death and mourning in the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, cities impacted by mass trauma caused by the atomic bombings of 1945.

What made you interested in Global Independent Study?

I wanted to conduct cross-national research in Japan to learn more about how intergenerational trauma can impact cultural mourning practices.

How has your Global Independent Study project impact your future goals as a social worker?

The research I conducted during the global independent study has been instrumental in my future career ambitions in doctoral research and study. I am presently composing a publishable paper based on the findings, and I have been invited to present the study at many national conferences. On a personal level, I learned that I am more flexible open than I originally thought was possible. I was able to put into action many global communication skills, and I made connections that will last for years. Just as important as the research itself was the connections I made with community members. We still keep in contact, sharing information about research, literature, or other things related to our shared interests. I learned that, in global research, these connections must always come first.

What advice would you give, based on your own experience, to students considering Global Independent Study?

Take the time to get to know the community you plan to enter. It is our responsibility as researchers to learn the language, get to know the customs, and meet people for the purpose of knowing them rather than needing something from them.

Poster Archive of Previous Student Project: Family Service Organizations in Hiroshima, Japan

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