“I’ve always seen America as a land of opportunities – before I came here from Japan when I was 27, and still now.”

“When I first came as a high school exchange student, I was really surprised by how independence, critical thinking skills and individual opinion are considered to be virtuous here. The USA really encourages and praises students for being very independent – independent thinkers or physically independent. In Japan, until you’re 22 you’re considered to be a child. It was a very different experience for me to see high school students driving, making their own decisions and working part-time jobs. In Japan, conformity is a very important factor.”

“Another thing that really surprised me –  in a great way – is that America has amazing volunteerism and generosity. Especially in times of need, I was surprised by the number of people who just jumped in and then helped however they knew to – from children all the way to adults. The tax system is such that US taxpayers also know that, when you donate, there are benefits. So the system encourages people to do good.”

“There are also similarities, though, like an emphasis on and appreciation for a good work ethic. Individual responsibility is also important in both cultures but, in the US, it comes with individual freedom – you have accountability for that decision that you make. In Japan, you need to make sure you do your part so you are not upsetting or disappointing other people around you. It’s about the group.”

“My grandfather had a huge impact on my life and he talked about the way of the samurai and their seven values – moral virtue, courage, helping others, respect, honesty, honor and loyalty. So, my foundational principles are not so different from American principles, but there are some pockets of things that were a surprise to me –  in a good way.”

“One of those things was the free market system.” 

“I believe that this system is fundamental to protecting freedom itself because it is an appreciation for unlimited opportunity. No child would like to hear that they can choose between two jobs, you want to encourage everybody that they can do anything they want to do. Economic freedom also enables voluntary cooperation and the exchange of ideas, services and products to really advance our society.” 

“Now, Northwood is bringing the free-market message around the world with our global locations in China, Sri Lanka, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates. In those locations, we provide our curriculum, including a Philosophy of American Enterprise class.” 

“Advocating a free market has always been a part of Northwood University’s fabric. We recently recognized that we have an opportunity to aggregate and share voices and perspectives promoting free markets – that’s when we decided to launch this TrueNorth website to connect free-market thought leaders.” 

“As a university, we can be the connector of the free-market concepts behind the lecture notes. We have established online resources of a wide variety of viewpoints, advocating free markets and giving students an opportunity to critically think and listen to different perspectives, and be able to debate over it. Having diversity of thought is very important and we can provide that platform.”

“Northwood has thought-leading faculty members that really champion free-market ideas. For many years, we have held an event called the Freedom Seminar which presents a lineup of speakers who share thoughts and perspectives which is one of the ways we have created constructive relationships with think tanks and like-minded organizations.”

“It’s also important to us that students be able to get internships with those organizations. This new platform will be a place where students learn about various opportunities not only in the private sector, but also the nonprofit sector – in a think tank or research institution that would impact policy.”

“As a university, we are very proud of holding to this timeless free-market foundation. Capitalism is sometimes viewed as a dirty word but, actually, the role of business is a higher calling. We always teach students business is a means to address needs, create value and advance quality of life for not only ourselves, but for other people.”

“More than 34% of our alumni say that they start their own business within five years of graduation. It’s very fulfilling to see them doing great work.”

“What we are very proud of is really the product – the students who go to the world and make a difference using their creativity, passion and grit to advance their future. Not only for themselves, but also to lift other people along the way. What we teach is not only about academic success, but that individual success can help other people be successful as well. When you see that in action, and we see so many alumni that are very successful in a holistic way, that makes us very proud.”

“I’ve been with the university for 14 years and sometimes I forget to eat, I forget to sleep because I’m excited – especially when we can engage with faculty members and students across the world. It’s wonderful to see students being really successful while being independent thinkers.”

Mamiko Reeves
Midland, Michigan
Assistant Vice President & Dean, International Programs
Northwood Univeristy