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Internationals in Leuven - Kumiko Sawada

Together with our partner organizations, Leuven MindGate is committed to spreading the word about the fantastic opportunities our region has to offer. We’re here to tell you - and to show you - all the reasons you should consider becoming a Leuvenaar. And who better to tell you all the reasons than international Leuvenaars themselves?

A Japanese expat who loves to jog and swim in Leuven

Kumiko came to Belgium in 1996 as an expat to work in the European HQ of the company she worked for in Tokyo. After the term, she decided to stay in Belgium. Now she works independently and has projects at a Japanese multi-national company Nitto that has their EMEA Head Quarters in Leuven.

At Nitto, she supports administration for expats in different countries in the European region. She also helps the organization of global business events related to Nitto’s sponsorship of annual Nitto ATP Finals Tournament. Outside work, she likes to learn about European history and is interested in animal behavior science. She’s a fan of Pilates exercise and a regular jogger & swimmer.

Kumiko at a glance

  • Length of time in the Leuven Region: +/- 20 years
  • Reason for coming to Leuven: Work
  • Favorite spot in Leuven: The pop-up shops in the Diestsestraat
  • Favorite phrase in Dutch: Amai!
  • Kumiko and her husband are foster parents for children in Vietnam through Plan International
  • She is also a member of the Belgian chapter of the international volunteer Soroptimist organization
  • Kumiko now works for Nitto, a Japanese company with their European headquarters here in Leuven
  • Our regions has strong links with Japan, supported by the Belgium-Japan Association & Chamber of Commerce and the KU Leuven Alumni Chapter Japan
  • In the video you saw Kumiko help a colleague register with the city hall. You can check out their website here
  • The City of Leuven also maintains an International House, a single point of contact for questions relating to living in Leuven
  • We also saw Kumiko in the Diestsestraat going into the unique shops she said she enjoys so much. These included the record shop Flugzeug and the homewares shop Fairco

How can we help?

The Leuven MindGate team is at your disposal for any questions about the Leuven Innovation Region. Do you want to invest, work or study in the region? We can help you find your way.

We also facilitate collaboration and innovation between companies, knowledge institutes and government within the Leuven Innovation Region, and we are happy to guide any of these stakeholders towards innovation.