Huntsman '20

Ricardo Duncan

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SA: Keio University International Program

Programs Abroad:

  • Semester Abroad (SA): Keio University International Program, Japan

Ask me about...

  • I would say my perspective as an African American in Japan was one of the more unique experiences someone can have abroad. Japan holds the West, and Americans specifically in pretty high regard, however, their view of black people has been greatly influenced and shaped by mass media. This, in turn, created difficulties for me in some of the daily interactions that I had with the Japanese population. For black students especially, but minority students as a whole with an interest in studying in Asia, I believe my experiences can provide insight on what to expect when they arrive and the many ways of exploring that space.

My Experience Abroad:

I was able to work on a brand management project with the Haribo country manager for Japan. The project was focused on how Haribo could increase brand awareness and their market share in the Japanese confectionery market. The project required the use of my Japanese language skills which I've cultivated through Japanese classes every semester at Penn as a part of my requirements for the Huntsman Program. It required a greater understanding of the Japanese culture and Japanese consumers learned from both the Japanese classes I've taken at Penn and the Branding class that I was taking at Keio University. Lastly, it required knowledge I've attained from my Marketing classes here in the Wharton School, to utilize branding and marketing techniques to greater appeal to consumers. This project represented what my education in the Huntsman Program should allow me to work on in the future which I found extremely rewarding and promising.

Other Highlights:

  • I got to see multiple world championship Kick Boxing matches at one of the most legendary boxing arenas in the world.

  • I was able to hike Mt. Fuji.

  • The accessibility to other Asian countries, I spent time in Taiwan and Korea.

  • I went to a baseball game at Tokyo Dome to support the Tokyo Giants which was extremely fun, and potentially the most exhilarating professional sports game I've attended.

  • Getting to make friends from a wide variety of countries around the world and plans to visit them in the future.

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