Meet Our Student: Sky Russell

Class: 2020
Concentration: History of Art and Architecture
House: Eliot
Hometown: Tampa, Florida
Favorite Japanese Food: Gyoza
Reischauer Grants: 2018 Summer Internship Program (ISA, Inc.), 2019 Summer Internship Program (Samurai, Inc. and Global Partnership for Sustainability/Middlebury)


How did you become interested in Japan? My mother is Japanese but I was raised in the U.S., and I have always been interested in my heritage.

What were your initial plans when you arrived at Harvard? To try and continue going to Japan during the summers to visit my family!

Often students gravitate towards larger cities like Tokyo or Kyoto when going abroad – what motivated you to pursue opportunities in rural Japan? The big cities are just a small fraction of Japan, and so much tradition lies in rural areas. I wanted to experience the rural lifestyle and access a part of my background that I had never been immersed in before.

What are some highlights from your summers in Japan? Spending Saturday mornings helping out an assembly line of grandmas preparing fresh sea urchins for the market (Ogatsu); Making new friends at a design firm that had only ever existed in my wildest dreams (Tokyo); Gaining about twenty new grandparents over a month of living in a mountain village (Tenryu).

A piece of advice to someone who has never been abroad? Don't think too hard about it and just go.

Plans after Harvard? Yet uncertain but most likely going abroad for work or study.


Hear about Sky's experience in Japan: