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Japanese Winter Study Abroad Program Is a Cultural Based Experience

A parallel of buddhas at the Asakusa Shrine in Taito, Tokyo Japan. Photo credit: Jacob Stewart

Colorado State University is introducing a new cultural studies education abroad experience for winter 2018. Sayuri Collins, a Japanese instructor at CSU, is introducing a new Japanese culture based experience that covers new grounds for education abroad in Japan.

Japanese is a dense language and navigating the country is tricky without someone who knows how to read the language. However, Collins is introducing a way to learn about the rich culture without the hassle of language.

“It is focused on culture, so you do not have to know the language,” Collins said. “It’s not like a regular site-seeing trip. There are many cultural experiences included that you won’t get with many travel companies.”

Student participants will begin their travels in Kyoto and will go to Nara, Hiroshima, Kanazawa and more. This is an immersive cultural experience with culture-based activities scheduled constantly.

“There are around two to three experiences a day,” Collins said. “Tours are usually just site seeing and people telling you about things, this is an immersive cultural experience where you get to meet locals and enjoy the culture.” There will also be opportunities for participants to interact with local students and schools in cultural exchange.

Collins saw a need in the CSU community to introduce an opportunity abroad that did not involve language learning. “I started out teaching the LJPN-250 Japanese Language, Literature, and Culture in translation course, where students are introduced to Japanese culture,” Collins said. “Some students became very interested and wanted to go, but they don’t speak the language. This experience will deepen participants understanding without having to know the language.”

Culture exchange is necessary more and more every day, regardless of field of study. This opportunity is offering tea factory and ceremony exhibitions, shrine and temple viewings, a castle tour and first-hand local connection. This will provide participants with a deeper rich appreciation for a culture outside America.

The application is open to everyone regardless of their major. Students accepted into the program will receive one credit for LJPN 296 after traveling around Japan for 11 days.

Priority applications are due Tuesday, May 1. For further information, there are two information sessions, Wednesday, April 18 at noon and Thursday, April 19 at 4:00 p.m. and the webpage can be found here.

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