Momoka Nagaya


Momoka Nagaya is the Japanese language intern this year and originally hails from Nagoya, Japan. It is one of the three biggest cities in Japan and is known for its local cuisine like miso katsu (pork cutlet with miso sauce) and historical landmarks such as Nagoya Castle.

With Japanese as her native tongue, Nagaya was dedicated to teaching herself English. She watched movies in English, made friends overseas and participated in speech contests. Summer camp was a formative experience for her, as  she made lasting friendships and had an opportunity to practice English in a more fun way. Nagaya also spent her junior and senior years of high school in York, Pennsylvania to improve her English.

Currently a senior at Tsuda University in Tokyo, a small private women’s university, Nagaya is majoring in International Relations and minoring in Education. 

Her transition from Tsuda to Colgate was a shocking one. 

“I was overwhelmed by the scale of Colgate when I first got here. University life in Japan is often described as ‘four years of summer vacation’ just because it is hard to get in but not that hard to finish the degree,” Nagaya said.

Like her summer camp experience, Nagaya is making the most of her opportunity at Colgate. 

“I took advantage of the 20-year relationship between Colgate has with my university to work as a language intern here, hoping to gain knowledge of how people teach and learn the language here. I am planning to work for a company for a while once I graduate from university. But I will definitely come back to the education field at some point in my life. I am very thankful for the opportunity to spend a year here,” Nagaya said.