ASU, Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs team up to offer study trip to Japan

By

Roxane Barwick

From karaoke to origami, anime to sushi bars, judo to manga, the way of the samurai to bonsai, Japanese popular culture has become part of international culture. In architecture, fine art, literature, music and many other forms of expression, Japan enjoys an extraordinarily rich and influential heritage. Japan's economy remains the third largest in the world, all the more impressive considering that the country is a densely populated, geographically isolated island nation with few natural resources. Yet, in the second half of the twentieth century, Japan became a leader in such high tech fields as optical media, semiconductor manufacturing, industrial robotics and automobile manufacturing. Japan is also a world leader in international patent filings, second only to the United States. Thousands of U.S. companies have branches in Japan.

With over 130 million native speakers and the rapidly growing number of non-native speakers, Japanese has become one of the world's major languages. Knowledge of the Japanese language provides access to business, educational, historical, philosophical and religious resources, as well as to an immense library of Japanese literary and cinematic works.

ASU students from any discipline are invited to apply for a study trip to Japan this summer. Funded by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Kakehashi Project ("The Bridge for Tomorrow Project") aims to encourage greater understanding between the youth of Japan and the United States, and to foster long-term and ongoing interest in one another by providing firsthand experiences with the culture of the other.

The program is a fully-paid 10 day study tour of Japan from July 28-Aug. 7 and includes:

• round-trip air transportation to and from the nearest major commercial airport and Japan
• ground travel to and from the international airports and accommodations in Japan
• all meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) as per tour itinerary
• all train and bus travel expenses as per tour itinerary
• all entrance fees to special attractions as per tour itinerary
• orientation session upon arrival in Japan
• travel insurance subsidy
• study tours and site visit/study tour
• visits to a Japanese school
• a bilingual guide

Program requirements include:

• U.S. citizenship
• 2.75+ cumulative GPA
• strong interest in Japanese culture
• adventurous personality
• meeting the requirements of physical and mental condition established by the administrators of the Kakehashi Project

No prior Japanese language knowledge is required to apply for the Kakehashi Project. An information session is scheduled from 4:15-5:15 p.m., April 8, on the Tempe campus in MU room 241A. Contact Miko Foard for more information.

Application deadline is April 25. Click here to apply.

The School of International Letters and Cultures offers a major and minor in Japanese language and culture, as well as a master of arts degree in Asian languages and civilizations (Japanese). The school also offers a five-week summer study abroad program in Hiroshima, Japan, which provides students with a varied and rich experience of ordinary Japanese life though home stays, daily interaction with Japanese university students and numerous participatory events.