Noyuri’s life journey took a turn when she was accepted into Minerva's Visiting Scholars Year (VSY) program. Passionate about security engineering, she found a way to channel her interests into practical, real-world problem-solving through the program.
Hailing from Japan, Noyuri was homeschooled, and she longed for an opportunity to engage in active learning and express her thoughts and ideas to a larger audience. She initially applied for Minerva's four-year bachelor's program, but it was the VSY program that ultimately opened the door for her to experience a unique blend of physical and online learning.
“I was homeschooled for my entire life before coming to Minerva. I loved having flexibility in schedules and study pace, but I missed opportunities to output my thoughts and ideas to other people. Most of my study was passive reading and memory tests, which did not much intrigue me academically. Minerva’s active learning education resonated with me a lot since it was the best of both worlds - physical school and homeschooling.”
As a visiting scholar, Noyuri immersed herself in studying the problems within her local community, where she has been living for over 18 years. She thoroughly enjoyed Minerva's location-based assignments, as they allowed her to uncover and seek solutions for problems in her city.
In one notable project for her Empirical Analysis class, she conducted a study on food insecurity among low-income households in her city. She proposed the implementation of a free breakfast program in public middle schools. “Through this assignment, I was able to deepen my knowledge on the city government's policies and therefore organize an action plan that best suits the current state of my city.” said Noyuri.
Interaction with fellow VSY students from all over the world was another aspect that Noyuri cherished. “Although we were all located in different cities, we frequently texted each other, hosted online study sessions, and even planned offline meetups. Spontaneous conversations outside the class helped us get to know each other, which eventually contributed to building strong bonds among students and having a strong sense of the VSY community.”
Her time as a VSY also brought her valuable experiences in teamwork and cross-cultural communication. As a team lead in a project involving students from four different countries, she developed crucial communication skills that she now applies in her current project management role in her summer internship.
For those considering becoming a Visiting Scholar, Noyuri's advice is clear: “Embrace communication. Attend events, meet people, ask questions, and keep reaching out. Studying at Minerva is a challenging yet rewarding journey that equips students with transferable skills for any field. Each student, like you, can contribute to the eye-opening experiences that shape the community's learning experience.”
Learn more about the Visiting Scholars Year at Minerva University.