World Campus International Staff

Hiro Nishimura

Hiro Nishimura – Chief Executive Officer

Hiro was born and raised in Arao, Kumamoto, located on Kyushu Island in western Japan. This seaside region is well-known for its especially warm and outgoing people. Hiro earned a degree in Education at the University of Kumamoto. He spent 20 years with the Up with People programs, serving in various capacities for the organization while developing his distinctive and influential management philosophy. As the Chief Operation Officer, Hiro has worked in both program implementation and company management throughout North America, Europe and Japan. One of his most impactful experiences was helping to implement part of the United Nation's Global Forum on Environmental Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Hiro led the implementation of 9 international student programs in Japan. Well respected and well connected in a variety of Japanese networks, this was done in part through his successful collaboration with national, prefectural and city governments, major and local corporations and organizations. Hiro was the recipient of 4 company awards from Up with People, including the Presidents Award. After living in Denver, Colorado, USA for many years along with his Norwegian wife, Kristin, and their three children: Markus Yuki, Daniel Masami and Anna Mikako, they moved to Japan where WCI operates their international programs every year. Contact him at

Maki Honda

Maki Honda - Operations Manager

Maki Honda worked as one of the World Campus Local Organizing Committee staff members in Kumamoto for many years and also worked for the program as a program counselor for two years.

She was born and grew up in Kumamoto, Japan where some of the World Campus - Japan participants get to visit every year! When she was a university student, she met the program and organized activities with some of her friends in Kumamoto city. She not only learned about other cultures from the people from various countries, but also rediscovered her own country and herself by exploring a familiar sight with different points of view, interacting and exchanging cultures with them. Those experiences had a huge impact on her. It was only one short week but quite long enough to change her whole life. This experience made her decide to get involved in World Campus International in a long term.

As the Operations Manager, she is working for all the logistics for the program and the translation/interpretation needs. She an be reached at

Juuso Myller

Juuso Myller - Program Counselor

Juuso Myller joined World Campus Japan for first time as a participant in 2015. The following years he has been working as a counselor, guiding and helping new participants enjoy their time to the fullest while in Japan. He spent his youth in Eastern Finland, choosing to study to become an English teacher in the University of Eastern Finland. His minor is Japanese and during one of those lessons Hiro Nishimura visited the university to advertise World Campus Japan. He joined the program almost on the spot and has been hooked ever since. The first program as a participant was an eyeopener for him. He learned a lot about not only Japan, but the cultures of participants from all around the world. This sense of a closely knit, welcoming community influenced him greatly and motivated him to give something in return by becoming a counselor for the program next year.

Previously, as a counselor, he has overseen the blog and some aspects of social media in the program, photography, and Thank You -cards. Contact him at

Joakim Gåsøy

Joakim Gåsøy - Program Counselor

Joakim Gåsøy was born and raised in Sarpsborg, Norway, and is majoring mathematics at the university of Oslo in Norway. He joined the World Campus - Japan summer program as a participant for the first time in 2011, and the experience was so well recieved that it made him return again in 2012. Initially curious about Japanese popular culture such as music and comics, Joakim quickly grew a great appreciation for the people of Japan. The involvement with WCI has had a great impact on his life, such as making him more open to interracting with new people.

Joakim’s role as a program counselor, has been the technical manager. In this role, he was responsible for all the technical area of the program including the Arigato Event management, photo and video editing. One of his goals has been to make sure that the other participants had as great experience as he did when he was a participant himself, and he greatly believes that an experience like World Campus – Japan is an important asset in a world filled with conflict and prejudice. Contact him at

Nena Stritzel

Nena Stritzel – Program Counselor

Nena Stritzel was born in Belgium. She studied journalism for four years and after her graduation she decided to learn Japanese and now she is a second year student Japanology at the University of Ghent. In her first year she got in contact with World Campus - Japan when Hiro Nishimura came to her University informing about the program. As soon as she heard the stories of her fellow students who went through the program, she knew she had to go too. It was her first time visiting Japan and she had the best experience ever. She believes World Campus is the best way to explore and to get to know Japan in his full glory. Definitely the experience with the different hostfamilies is something unforgetable. She is so happy that she met so many lovely new people that she got really close with. She finds it interesting to meet new people from all over the world, so she hopes to meet a lot of new people this summer and help them have the same unforgetable experience that she had in her summer. And of course that she will have a lot of fun together with them! She is looking forward to meeting you all. Contact her at

Espen Auseth Nielsen

Espen Auseth Nielsen – Program Counselor

Espen is from Norway. He has been with World Campus for the past 5 years and will be working as a counselor during the 2018 Japan program. He is 26 years old and currently lives in Denmark, where he is pursuing a PhD in mathematics at the University of Copenhagen.

He has been studying Japanese as a hobby since his high school days, when he became interested in Japanese stand-up comedy. Since then, his interest has expanded to Japanese culture, history and religion. His other hobbies are reading, watching movies and playing the game of Go. He also likes biking and exercising.

By participating in this program you can explore the most amazing places in Japan. However, what he has learned from World Campus, both from his own experience and from watching our participants over the years, is that traveling is all about the people you meet. By traveling with World Campus, he has met wonderful people from all over the world and made lasting friendships. He has also learned more about himself than he thought possible. He hopes that he can bring you out of your comfort zone so that you can do the same. Contact him at

Markus Yuki Nishimura

Markus Yuki Nishimura – Program Counselor

Markus Yuki Nishimura was born in the United States, grew up in Japan and currently living in Norway. As the eldest son of CEO and founder, Markus has been exposed to the World Campus - Japan program since its beginning in 2007. He first officially joined the program as a participant in 2016 and was amazed by how much even a Japanese native as himself could learn from it. He says the best part of the program was the direct exposure to Japanese culture and seeing how different the cultures can be between the cities. When asked to join the staff, his “YES!” could not have come any faster.

As a fluent speaker of both Japanese and English he will be responsible for translations and interpretation in various aspects of the program. Also, given his vocal & stage experience, he may also be of assistance during the Arigato-event planning and rehearsals. He looks forward to seeing you this summer. Contact him at

Irina Hul

Irina Hul – Program Counselor

Irina Hul was born and raised in Belgium, though she is half Romanian from her mother's side. She studies Japanology in the University of Ghent. Irina went to Japan for the first time in 2017 as a participant of the World Campus – Japan Program, after learning about it through the presentation at her university.

After her program participation, she kept in touch with her host families in Nara and Osaka, and she went back to Japan in 2018 on her own and lived with her host families from the World Campus program. In 2019, she even hosted her host families in Belgium.

Irina is convinced that World Campus is the perfect program to get to know Japan and it's people. Especialy if it is the first time you are traveling in Japan. She is looking forward to taking part in World Campus again, this time as a counselor, and getting to know all the participants and their cultures. She is very outgoing and easy to talk to. Contact her at

Yunzhi Liu

Yunzhi Liu - Program Counselor

Yunzhi Liu comes from Beijing, China, and she is currently studying Classics at Middlebury College in Vermont, the US. She first became a World Campus Japan participant in 2017, and the powerful experience she had interacting with the local communities inspired her to come back and learn more. She felt belong to the program community and appreciated the great friends she was able to make. As a counselor, she will be responsible for interpretation and translation, and she hopes to help the participants enjoy and gain a great deal from the program just like she did.

Her interest in Japanese customs, history, and religion can be traced back to when she first started learning the language at the age of 12, and she is now still minoring in Japanese Studies in university. She finds a community like World Campus important to her forming understandings of the country, on account of being able to learn about Japan not only through one’s own, but other cultural lenses as well. She also likes writing, reading, watching Japanese films and anime, and playing badminton. Contact her at

Magnus Krumbacher

Magnus Krumbacher - Program Counselor

Magnus Krumbacher is German and Norwegian but has lived in Norway for most of his life. He is currently a university student who is majoring in informatics. His interest in Japan was sparked sometime in highschool, during which he attended a Japanese language school. The great experiences from participating in the program twice enabled him to take a gap year in Japan after graduating highschool. During this year he participated in World Campus once more. Hoping to provide participants with the same great memories and experiences that he was provided with, he will be serving as a program counselor for the 2020 program.

His responsibilities will include assisting the technical management and making sure everyone has a meaningful and unforgettable experience. Contact him at

Thomas Greve

Thomas Greve – Webmaster

Thomas lives in the Hanseatic and University city of Rostock, Germany. Growing up in the former German Democratic Republic, he understands the critical importance of connecting diverse people to break down unnecessary barriers. Thomas spends a lot of his time as a volunteer with non–profit organizations. As the former Coordinator of Local Organizing Committee in Rostock for an international program, he led a regional team which arranged host families and program contents for international groups in his hometown. Thomas loves to work with people. With a extensive background in technology, Thomas is World Campus International’s official webmaster and advisor to all computer troubleshooting. Please be in touch with Thomas for more information about World Campus – Japan at