Program Information

Japanese society appears to be at a crossroads, facing new challenges in the areas of politics, economics, society, and foreign policy. There is much talk of “change” but no clear direction on what changes should occur or how change should happen. The focus of this abroad is a study of modern Japan within this context of change with an emphasis on culture, history, language, and contemporary society. In essence, this abroad offers a cross-disciplinary study of Japanese society — its cultural and historical traditions, current issues and challenges, and future trends.

A total of fifteen and a half (15.5) semester hours credit will be earned with this program. Final grades for all courses will be determined by the program director.

FLAN 100: Elementary Japanese Language Semester Hours: 4 Attribute: – NONE Taught during fall, 2015. This course provides intensive classroom instruction in Japanese language by native language instructors at Kyoto Institute of Culture and Language, plus out-of-class practice. In-class work stresses learning to speak the Japanese language, introducing students to basic vocabulary and enabling students to engage in basic conversational Japanese.

HISTORY 220: Civilization: Japan Semester Hours: 5 Attribute: [GEH] Taught during fall, 2015. This course will apply the historical method to the observation, description, and survey of the Japanese culture. While on campus, students will read and discuss the book Japan, Its History and Culture, by W. Scott Morton, which provides an overview of Japan’s history. In Japan, students will visit many historical sites in Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, and Tokyo, which are rich in Japanese history and culture. Work will include journaling, class discussions, writing analytical papers on key events and turning points in Japan’s history, and an oral presentation on an aspect of traditional Japanese culture.

SPST 285: Country Studies: Japan Semester Hours: 5 Attribute: [GESS to be proposed] Taught during fall, 2015. This course provides an interdisciplinary survey of contemporary issues in Japan. These issues will include geography, cultural history, politics, economics, religion, foreign relations, environment, the arts, etc. Through observation, research, and interviews students will address in a thesis paper the question of whether Japan is currently in the midst of a turning point/crossroads similar to such points in Japan’s history. Students will keep a journal and will research and write a paper analyzing some aspect of present-day Japanese society.

SPST 260: Building Learning Communities Semester Hours: 1 Attribute: NONE Taught during fall, 2015. This course focuses on the theory and practice of developing learning communities. Theory emphasizes stages of group development, communication skills, principles of feedback, and conflict resolution. Practice includes skill development in listening and varied communication techniques. Students will participate in activities that support the development of a cohesive learning community within the context of a larger integrated experiential program.

SPST 281: Reentry Seminar: Japan Semester Hours: 0.5 Attribute: – NONE Taught during spring, 2016. The reentry seminar is an opportunity for students to internalize, integrate, and formulate the personal and academic learning gained from their study in Japan. Through reflection, writing assignments, and the creation of a documentary presentation for the college community, students will interpret and articulate their growth and experiences.