Study Abroad

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Travel Seminars with Faculty

Exploring Japanese Society & Culture

  • May 18 - May 30, 2016
  • Sociology/Global Studies 485
  • Dr. Akiko Yasuike
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This course introduces you to Japanese society and culture. Japan has been one of the most economically advanced countries since the rise of globalization, yet unlike Europe and the U.S., it is a country of no Western origin. While globalization has accelerated the process of Americanization, Japan still retains uniquely Japanese customs, values/beliefs and social institutions.

The course will examine Japanese society/culture and the impact of globalization on it through documentary films, academic articles, popular magazines and internet sources. Right after this semester, students will visit Japan for approximately two weeks to directly observe interactions of Japanese people and experience Japanese life style. Students are expected to stay in Japan as a college student ethnographer and share their observations and thoughts during evening meetings. Class assignments of gathering information on Japanese society and culture and a trip to Japan will promote cross cultural competency and global perspectives.

Highlights of the travel to Japan include:

  • A Japanese family home visit (Visit a Japanese home and enjoy interactions with local Japanese over dinner)
  • Try a traditional Japanese handcraft, Yuzen drawing

  • Learn the basics of and try zen meditation with a monk at a zen Buddhist temple

  • Learn the basics of and enjoy a tea celemoney while wearing kimono

  • Visit to the Multicultural Center Tokyo (a non-profit organization that provides educational opportunities to both documented and undocumented immigrant children and volunteer as English tutors)

Students must enroll in SOC 485 - Exploring Japanese Society and Culture (4 units) offered in Spring 2016. This course can satisfy upper division elective credit for the sociology minor or major as well as the CORE-21 requirement for Global Perspectives.

The application for the Japanese Travel Seminar will be available in fall 2015 at the Study Abroad Center, so stop by the office to pick one up. Applications will be due by Friday, November 6, 2015. 

Approximate Cost: $3,000, including airfare. Note that the cost is an estimate and subject to change.

Students can apply for a Travel Seminar scholarship through the CLU Study Abroad Center at the following link: Scholarship Application Applications will be due Friday, November 6, 2015.



Tentative Japan Itinerary (Note: All elements subject to change)

Day 1 in Los Angeles: Leave LAX via group flight

Day 2 in Tokyo: Arrive at Narita International Airport

Day 3 in Tokyo: Tsukiji Fish Market, Kabuki, and Shinjyuku

Day 4 in Tokyo: Edo-Tokyo Museum & Multicultural Center Tokyo

Day 5 in Tokyo: Imperial Palace, Meiji Jingu & Free Time (Harajuku, Aoyama & Shibuya)

Day 6 in Tokyo: Tokyo National Museum & Free Time & Home Visit

Day 7 in Gifu: Mejimura & Ukai--Take the bullet train to Gifu

Day 8 in Kyoto: WAK Japan Kimono and Tea Ceremony & Night Exploration in Gion--Highway bus to Kyoto

Day 9 in Kyoto: Nara (Todaiji Temple, Nara Park, Kasuga Taisha Shrine, Horyuji)

Day 10 in Kyoto: Truck Train Ride and Miyama Traditional Village Visit 

Day 11 in Kyoto: Myoshinnji Shunko-in Meditation, Ryoanji & Kinkakuji

Day 12 in Kyoto: Eastern Kyoto (Kiyomizu, Sanjusangendo Hall, Yasaka Shrine, Chionin, Heian Shrine, Museum of Traditional Crafts & Gion)

Day 13 in Kyoto: Himeji Castle

Day 14 in Kyoto: Leave Kansai International Airport

Info Sessions

Info Sessions

To learn more about the Japan Travel Seminar, please attend an information session and hear about the course from the faculty leader.  We will be discussing the course in more detail, in-country itinerary, as well as approximate cost.  Applications will also be available at this time.

Tentative dates are as follows:

Tuesday, October 6
Location: Humanities 120

Wednesday, October 14
Location: Humanities 118

You may also attend a study abroad information session offered daily at 2:30pm in the CLU Study Abroad Center.