Motoki Yasui came to Springfield 5 years ago as an international student at the English Language Institute. After completing the English for Academic Purposes program at the ELI, Motoki went to OTC and received an Associate of Arts degree. Motoki was excited to transfer to Missouri State last summer because now he’s even closer to his dream of becoming a Child Life Specialist.
Following his passion
Now, Motoki speaks candidly and positively about his past experiences. He says it wasn’t always so easy to do. When he was 9 years old, he developed bone cancer. “I couldn’t imagine my future,” he explained.
Then a medical student began working with Motoki during his treatment. For 6 months, the medical student helped him learn more about his health, how to accept his diagnosis, and to live his life beyond his illness. She changed the trajectory of his life. “I wanted to be a certified Child Life Specialist just like her. When I was 18 years old, I decided to come to the United States and make my dream come true,” said Yasui.
Finding Missouri State
Motoki’s academic agent recommended he come to Springfield for the English Language Institute. It was an attractive option because the ELI offers conditional admission to academic programs at Missouri State.
So far, Motoki thinks English training was the most difficult part of his experience in the US. However, his time at the ELI made everything else easier. “When I first came here I could not speak English very well, but now I can speak with native speakers and study my major in English. The ELI gave me a great opportunity,” said Yasui.
He speaks highly of studying Child Life at Missouri State as well. “There are two great hospitals in Springfield, Mercy and Cox Health. There is also a cancer clinic and the Lost and Found Grief Center. We have a lot of resources and opportunities to get hands-on experience. Also, all the Child Life professors at Missouri State are certified Child Life Specialists, so they always share their experience with us.” explained Yasui.
Motoki also credits the Disability Resource Center for his success at Missouri State. “I am so glad we have the Disability Resource Center at Missouri State. If a classroom is challenging for me to enter, I can take a quiz or test in the library through the Center. They help me make sure I can access everything I need.”
When reflecting on the best part of Missouri State, Motoki breaks out into a big smile. “I’ve met a lot of friends from all over the world. I developed friendships with them while we studied English together and we’re still connected now. I’ve even visited some of them at home, in Colombia, Chile, and South Korea.”