Student Profile: Yoshiya Hikita ’09
Yoshiya Hikita, an international student from Japan, values Hope’s
atmosphere. His father attended Meiji Gakuin University in Japan,
Hope has had ties since the 1960s, and Yoshiya says, “My
dad told me Hope
College is a college with a good Christian environment. I had been
that, because in Japan it is hard to find.”
When Yoshiya visited Hope as a prospective student, he experienced
Christian environment himself by attending the Gathering, Hope’s
evening worship service.
“It was nice to attend the Gathering.
We don’t get that kind of worship service
in Japan,” says Yoshiya. He also appreciated
taking communion, which had previously
been a rare occurrence for him.
Another factor that influenced Yoshiya’s decision to come
to Hope was the Phelps Scholars Program, a program for first-year
students that promotes cultural diversity
on Hope’s campus. Yoshiya found it a
great experience. He says, “As a part of
the Phelps Scholars Program, I got to
know a lot of people not only from the
United States but from other countries. It
was nice to build relationships with other
Interacting with other students is something
Yoshiya enjoys doing at Hope. “Not
every college has the environment where I
can talk to anybody,” he says. But at
Hope, he notes, that is possible for him.
The people are very caring,” says
Yoshiya. “And Hope College is not too big, so I can get to
know a lot of people
Yoshiya also participates in Japan Club, which hosts presentations
culture, as well as the “Images: A Reflection of Cultures” annual
This past year, he and another student performed a traditional
Japanese skit at
Images” and enjoyed the experience.
Although Yoshiya grew up in a Christian family, Christianity is
religion in Japan. Yoshiya wants to help Christianity grow in Japan,
which is why
he is majoring in religion with plans to attend seminary in Japan. “There
many churches who are longing for a pastor, and that struck me
as God’s calling
for me to spread the Gospel,” he says.
In addition to studying religion, Yoshiya enjoys the liberal arts
which he is exposed at Hope. He appreciates being encouraged to
fields, such as the sciences. “One of the stereotypes of
a Christian college is that
religion and sciences don’t go together, but they don’t
have that problem at
Hope,” says Yoshiya. “God made everything, so we are
meant to appreciate every
part of that.”
This profile was written by Danielle K. Johnson, a 2008
Hope College graduate from Kalamazoo, Mich., for the 2008-09
Hope College Catalog.
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