Chie Lee ’18
Osaka, Japan
Chie Lee

Making connections

As Chie was prayerfully considering colleges to attend, her host mom in Seattle recommended Chie check out her alma mater: Northwestern College. While researching the college, Chie discovered that NWC is a sister college to the Japanese university where her dad serves as chaplain. The connection piqued Chie’s interest in Northwestern further, but what really convinced her to attend were the opportunities to study and learn off-campus and abroad.

Keeping the faith
Studying social work has challenged my faith because most of the cases I’ve studied are overwhelmingly complicated, and decision-making for social work professionals is not always black and white. Yet my faith enables me to keep searching for the best answer that I can come up with and to find hope in any situation, no matter how difficult.  

Profs who practice what they teach
Northwestern’s social work professors are always willing to listen to students, so when we’re in the classroom, we are encouraged to think and learn together. This happens because professors truly value their students’ stories and perspectives. I also appreciate my professors’ passionate hearts for those who are in need. Simply who they are and how they live their lives in the service of others is inspiring. They also teach from their experience, and there is great wisdom in their stories as social work practitioners that cannot be taught from a textbook. 

Active in social work
The social work department is very supportive of students who try to make a difference on campus raising awareness about and fighting against unfairness or injustice. Also, the department is well-connected to social work organizations in the surrounding communities, so there are always good opportunities to volunteer and intern locally and gain tangible experience. Social work students are also required to complete a practicum during their senior year, and at Northwestern, you can do that through some study abroad options. I am excited at the possibility of studying in Europe through Northwestern’s Romania Semester!

Culture shock
The transition to Iowa was dramatic. I have never lived in small city, so there were certain things that I had to get used to. I especially miss the food and public transportation systems in Japan. But I like attending college in Orange City because it is very safe and has a very warm, welcoming community. And I also love how I can see such a big sky from campus every day! I never had this view in a city with so many tall buildings.