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Meet our UAB Members and Alumni!

Alexandra (Alex) Maxim – Class of 2023

Alex is an LSA student from Rochester, Michigan. Her major/minor is undecided but she is interested in computer science and information studies as well as Japanese language. Alex is aiming to study abroad or intern in Japan in the future. She enjoys reading and playing video games and suggests authors Haruki Murakami or Hiro Arikawa for those interested in unique, Japanese writers. Alex recommends Japanese language courses at U-M for anyone interested in Japanese culture.

Yun Zhai – Class of 2022

Yun is majoring in Economics with a minor in Applied Statistics. She is originally from China and is now working on finding internships in Japan next summer. She recommends her favorite ramen shop, Yuzushio Ramen at Afuri in Tokyo. She suggests the course in "Business Japanese" for people who want to learn a lot of keigo. As a goal, Yun wants to earn enough money by 35 to be able to open her own cafe beside the sea.

Alexandra Rammacher – Class of 2021

Alexandra is majoring in English Language and Literature with a minor in Asian Languages and Culture. She’s from Charlotte, Michigan, and she regularly enjoys reading, food, Bungou Stray Dogs, and posting meme-like things on Twitter. She is currently applying for summer internships based in Japan, and she plans on working through the JET Program after graduation. Her recommendations include every single one of the Japanese Language professors working at the University of Michigan, who are all extremely nice and extremely good at teaching.

Nimalan Murugan – Class of 2021

Nimalan is on the Pre-Med track, studying Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience and intending to a minor in Asian Languages and Culture (focusing on Japanese). Nim hails from Novi, Michigan. Nim aspires to combine healthcare and Japanese in the future, such as at the Japanese Family Health Program. He currently does research at the Henry Ford Sleep Disorders and Research Center, and is on the board for Japanese Language Circle (JLC). Furthermore, he recommends any course within the Japanese Language Program, because every teacher there is beyond amazing!

Aubrey Klein - Class of 2020

Aubrey is studying Psychology with a minor in Asian Languages and Culture. She currently works as a Media Assistant in the School of Education. She enjoys dancing, playing video games, and trying out new bubble tea shops. She would recommend taking a Japanese Art class with Professor Carr.

This picture is of a tram that Aubrey would take to class while studying abroad in Hakodate.

Jordan Cleland – Class of 2020

Jordan is double majoring Political Science and Japanese Studies. She comes from the small town of Deckerville, Michigan. Her hobbies include playing video games, watching TV shows and movies, and karaokeing. She got into Japanese Studies at UM by coincidence, taking Professor Allison Alexy’s "Fantasizing Japan" class and then going onto take Japanese language classes. She loves studying Japanese and has been to Japan three times, studying abroad two of those times for two months respectively. She hopes to move to Japan after graduation, and work there for some time. The thing she would most like to communicate to students is to try a Japanese class! It is incredibly fun and rewarding. Also, she feels compelled to share the truth that Mew is the cutest Pokémon ever.

Jiayin Yuan – Class of 2020

Jiayin is studying Psychology, International Studies, and Asian Studies with a minor in Business. She’s originally from Wuhan, China. She’s currently working with Professor Erin Brightwell on an honors thesis about the narratives and representations of swords in medieval Japanese war tales, and she would recommend anyone interested in Japanese history and literature to take a class with Professor Brightwell! In her free time, Jiayin enjoys playing video games, trying out new recipes, and reading Japanese mystery novels.

Tiantian (Tiana) Zhang – Class of 2020

Tiana is majoring in Electrical Engineering and minoring in Japanese. She was born in Japan and grew up in Hong Kong. She loves photography, watching baseball in Japan, and playing RPGs. If you are looking for a good read by a Japanese author, she recommends Riku Onda and Asako Yuzuki. She is excited to be working in Tokyo post-graduation! Her favorite Pokémon is Vaporeon.

Zari Smith – Class of 2020

Zari is studying both Japanese Studies and International Studies (Comparative Culture and Identity). He is interested in translation, and hopes to one day pursue a career in that field. Currently he is conducting a research project on the evolution of Japanese video game localization over time. For interested students, Zari recommends ASIAN 200: Introduction to Japanese Civilization. In his free time Zari enjoys playing various Japanese video games (such as RPGs and Nintendo games), and reading books. He also loves traveling to new places.