Japan Summer Study Tour (Independent Organization Program)

The Laurasian Institution, a not-for-profit education foundation, administers the New Perspectives: Japan (NP:J) study tour project for middle and high school students and teachers interested in studying about Japan. This project has been partially funded by the Center for Global Partnership and the Freeman Foundation.

NP:J is a three-phase program which is centered around a two-week study tour to Japan. The teacher and students approach the program as a group, sharing insights and reflections to enhance the overall experience. The program begins several weeks before departure working with one of six curricular themes that the school group chooses (This is the orientation study phase). The curricular themes are: Art, Architecture and Cuisine (M. Hammond-Bernson); Episodes in Japanese History: The Shaping of National Identity and Culture (L. Parisi); Japanese Economics and Business (L. Wojtan); Japanese Contemporary Society (S. Thompson); Discovering Your Japanese Heritage (G Mukai & S. Lai), and a new, more generalist curriculum, An Overview: Expanding Your Coursework to Include Japan (A. Cheng, G. Francis, and S. Lai).

The group then travels to Japan, where participants visit a Japanese school, live with a Japanese host family, visit historical sites in Tokyo and Kyoto--all allowing students the opportunity to practice their Japanese on a daily basis (This is the study tour phase). Once returning to the US, each school group works together to help each participant assess and articulate her or his experience (Follow-up study phase).

The tour dates are scheduled each year in June and July. The cost is approximately $3000. In past tours, through the Jackson Bailey Scholarship, funded by the Freeman Foundation and the Center for Global Partnership, the majority of participants who requested scholarships were awarded one based on merit and need.

The NP:J website, at http://www.newperspectivesprogram.org/, has posted newsletters from previous tours. Take a look to see what happens during the study tour phase of the program.