Takeo Suzuki

Takeo Suzuki

In his short time on campus, Takeo Suzuki, Executive Director of International Programs, is already brainstorming and implementing ideas to expand his program and tap into the needs of our University’s students.

“I think that this is a good time for us to make change here at UTC,” Suzuki explained.

Suzuki wants to encourage students’ creativity, and prepare them for life after college, both socially and professionally.

“I believe that studying abroad is one of the most important things they [students] can accomplish in their life.” Suzuki continued, “My department will be the added value department for any UTC student if they want to be different. Everyone will graduate, we have a great graduation rate, you need to be different from everyone else.”

Suzuki understands that studying abroad is not an option for everyone, and while he plans to increase those opportunities, he explained that he also wants to create opportunities for our students here on campus,

“My goal is to go beyond that, because statistically speaking probably 5-10% of our students will be able to go out of the country, a majority will not. So I have a few ideas on how to help students who will never be able to go out of the country have a better education here on campus.”

His first step to achieving these ideas is through transparency, and better communication with students. Suzuki is building a social media presence to reach students more effectively. You can visit the Office of International Programs on Facebook here.

As an undergraduate, Suzuki took advantage of an opportunity to study abroad after an earthquake devastated his hometown in Japan.

“It completely destroyed everything; the university was destroyed, but I was fortunate to have a scholarship to study abroad in the UK in Wales,” Suzuki said.

After college, Suzuki was working as a TV reporter in 1999 when he saw first-hand the Eastern European conflicts, and their heartbreaking devastation. Witnessing the lack of connections between states, governments, and people, he realized something needed to be done.

Suzuki explained, “At the higher level, they don’t have those kind of connections. But at the grassroots level, if students go there and make friends, a small seed is eventually going to make a big flower. So I think students are the future of this world and I would like to be a part of that big project.”

For those interested in the international opportunities offered at UTC, Suzuki has created new ways for students to communicate with his office through email. Students with general questions about the program can email goglobal@utc.edu, for study abroad questions studyabroad@utc.edu, international students can email studyabroad@utc.edu, and questions about English as a Second Language (ESL) can email esl@utc.edu.

Media Relations Contacts: Email Shawn Ryan or call (423) 425-4363.

Sarah is a staff writer in UTC's Office of Communications and Marketing.