FARMINGTON — University of Maine at Farmington is pleased to announce that it has resumed its longstanding Japanese Language Fellowship Program, which was briefly interrupted by COVID-19.

Visiting Japanese Fellow, Yukiko Usui Sensei. Submitted photo

The program welcomes visiting Japanese Fellow, Yukiko Usui Sensei, who is offering courses in elementary Japanese language and Japanese culture & society for fall 2023 and spring 2024. The language course focuses on conversational and written Japanese and the culture course introduces Japanese culture with a variety of interesting activities, including preparing sushi and using calligraphy.

Usui is a fellow with the ALLEX Foundation, an organization founded in 1988 to provide universities with an economical means to establish or enhance Asian language programs on their campuses. UMF welcomed the first ALLEX Fellow in 2013 and hosted four fellows through the spring of 2021. Since the organization’s inception, over 230 universities have hosted their teachers to start or enhance language offerings.

Usui comes from Hiroshima, Japan, where she attended Hiroshima University majoring in education. She became interested in the ALLEX program given its mission of advancing global understanding through education and learning about other cultures. She applied to the program this past spring and received online and face-to-face training this summer prior to coming to Farmington in August.

“Working for the foundation and being an ambassador for Japan and its language and culture at Farmington is really a dream job for me,” said Usui. “I love traveling, meeting new people and seeing the smiles on my students’ faces as they explore Japanese culture and language.”

The Japanese language course is available to full-time students and members of the public as in-person and online courses. The online format is synchronous with students and faculty attending together in real-time.

The culture course is only offered in-person given the experiential components. Funding for the cultural activities is provided by an Undergraduate International Studies & Foreign Language grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

For more information about the UMF Japanese language program, contact Linda Beck, associate dean of Experiential and Global Education at, or 207-778-7122.

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