After graduating from Montclair High School in 1974, I spent one year at Davidson College in North Carolina. I normally leave this year off of my printed CV for reasons of space (was a 'B' student and it's a very fine school). I applied to Sophia International from the USA, but realized my first day there that I wanted to study at a regular Japanese university.
Ironically, applying from the International Campus of Sophia to the Japanese Sophia University was the same as if I applied while still in the USA- the main campus didn't recognize credits or standing from its own international campus. Says a lot about Japan. In any event, after one semester at Sophia International, I dropped out to study full-time for entrance to Sophia University. Once accepted, I studied as a regular Japanese student for almost 2 years.
Maybe also a little ironically, I was originally more interested in China- the influence of my grandmother, Mildred Borst Perdue, who studied China for 70 years and who, at one time, sat on the Board of Directors of the China Institute and the Asia Society. Because of my China interest, once I was enrolled as a regular student at Sophia University, every school break I flew to Taiwan to study Chinese, with 4 hours of personal instruction per day at the Mandarin Daily News Language Center.
In 1977, I was accepted to Princeton University as a transfer student, and after one year of study, received a scholarship to spend my junior year as a regular student at National Taiwan University, where all my classes, schoolwork and social life was in Mandarin. I worked in Japan as an interpreter and translator both on my way to, and way way back from Taiwan to Princeton, which helped me pay for much of my second year of study there (the scholarship to study in Taiwan had allowed me to finish paying for my first year at Princeton). Additionally, I had 3 undergraduate jobs: tutor in the East Asian Studies Department, Freshman Physics Lab Assistant and janitor- they all taught me a lot in their own ways.
I graduated from Princeton University in 1980 with a B.A. in East Asian Studies and stayed on a year working full-time and studying computer science part-time for another year.
Twenty years later I returned to academia to do a 17-month Executive MBA with the Kellogg-HKUST Program based in Hong Kong.