When Jumpei Onozuka came to New Paltz from his home in Japan he could read and write in English, but not really speak it. Realizing the only way he would learn to speak English and experience American culture was by completely immersing himself in it, Jumpei joined the First Year Initiative (FYI) program on campus.
As the only international student in the FYI program, Jumpei lived and took classes with American students and by the end of his first year, had mastered English and earned a 4.0 GPA.
Now a sophomore, Jumpei continues to immerse himself in the SUNY New Paltz community. He is currently one of three international students who are resident assistants (RA) on campus and next year he will return to his first-year residence hall to be an RA for the FYI program.
"Being an RA gave me the chance to get to know a lot of people," said Jumpei.
Jumpei has also had the chance to work with others as co-chair of the International Student Union, Secretary of the Accounting & Finance Association, and member of the School of Business' Dean's Student Advisory Board.
Why New Paltz? Jumpei really wanted to study in America and his high school's college counselor had visited the campus and recommended it.
Inspired by: His friends' hardworking attitudes, both in Japan and at New Paltz
Hobbies: Spending time with his friends, running and walking around campus in the springtime