His name is Hikaru Homma and knowing that coming to the United States was an option for him after high school, he definitely chose that option. “I’m from Japan and when I graduated from high school I had the option of going back to Japan for college or going somewhere else. Naturally, since I'm Japanese I have the option of going back to Japan almost anytime in life so I thought I would take the opportunity to go somewhere else and it happened to be the United States.”
Before coming to the United States, Hikaru says he had no preconceive notions partly because of the international American school he attended. “I personally didn’t have any views of how it might have been. It is probably because I went to school in Costa Rica and it was an international American school so I had a lot of international friends that kept me open minded of other cultures, other countries,” he says. “I have American friends and I have always heard many stories from them about the United States, so in general I didn’t have any sort of vision of what it would be like. It was more like I just come and see for myself.”
Villanova University located in Villanova Philadelphia, became Hikaru's choice and he says going through the process to get in the university wasn't too bad. “When I was looking through different universities I already had in mind in my junior year in high school that I wanted to go to other places than Japan, especially after looking through schools and since I was looking into schools with strong Engineering programs, Villanova naturally came across my list," he says.
"One of the biggest contributions is a friend of mine who is a year older than me came here when I was in my junior year so that is how I found out about the school,” he says. “And the application process itself I didn’t think it was too hard. Although there was a lot of work writing essays, filing out forms, from what I have seen in Japan which is an entrance exam, I thought it is a lot more convenient.”
Hikaru is in his freshman year. His major is Mechanical Engineering and presently the classes he is taking are core requirements and a few introductory classes for his major. When it comes to why he wants to become an engineer, his theory is.... This is just my own little philosophy, when looking at how the society works there are people who think of dreams and I just thought that Engineers were the ones who put the dreams into something concrete,” he says.
“When people dreamed of flying, engineers were the ones who made it possible. So they can make whatever is intangible into something tangible.”
Adjusting to college life has been real easy for Hikaru due to living on campus. “In my case I am in an all male dorm and what happened is my hallway we formed a really tight bond. We would all hang out together on weekends, we would all go to dinner everyday together and although it isn’t, people mistake us for fraternities just because they see a bunch of male students hanging out all the time and so people on my hallway have been really nice helping me out, getting me use to all the cultural differences I guess I experience here.”
While learning to deal with the western diet is new, Hikaru has been able to meet other folks who enjoy his pass time... music. “The food is somewhat different. Although I lived in Costa Rica I am kind of use to the western food, but coming from a Japanese family, a lot of the food is a lot more heavier, that is how I feel, but I really don’t have any trouble with that. Also, one of my personal interests is music and so when it comes to like talking about music, it is really nice to see all these different people and how different people like different music, so I just encounter with all these new styles of music that I really didn’t listen to back home.”
Hikaru has a few more years before he graduates; however once he does he wants to use his skills where they are most needed. “Once I graduate from Villanova, if I can graduate as an Engineer, I view engineering as making dreams come true, I wouldn’t want to restrict myself to going to any certain place or going to any certain field, but try to go somewhere that would need my help, need my services that is how I envision my own future,” he says.
“I wouldn’t mind if I end up somewhere in Africa, somewhere in Southeast Asia. I’d love to go where they truly need my help.”