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Japan Study: Cultural Immersion with Classes at Waseda University in Tokyo

students jumping in Japan

Message About Affiliated Programs

Although ACM’s three managed off-campus study programs are discontinued, ACM will continue its affiliation with this program through the 2023-2024 academic year (learn more).

Become an international citizen as you explore Japanese culture, build your language skills, and experience daily life in the bustling, dynamic city of Tokyo. For more than 50 years, Japan Study has offered students multiple ways to learn about this complex society, which has maintained both strong cultural traditions and its position as a global technology superpower.

The Japan Study program is administered at Earlham College

Japan Study links member colleges of the ACM and the Great Lakes Colleges Association with Waseda University in Tokyo. See the Japan Study website for full program details »

students in Japan

Immerse yourself at one of Japan’s premier universities

You’ll also experience Japanese culture through a homestay with a family in Tokyo and have the opportunity to live in another part of Japan for about a month.

large group of students in front of a buddha statue in Japan

Take classes with students from Japan and around the world

At Waseda University in Tokyo, you’ll take classes with students from Japan and around the world at the School of International Liberal Studies. Japanese language study is central to the program’s curriculum, as well as your immersion in Japanese society.

You can choose from a elective courses taught in English on topics in Japanese and Asian studies, as well as content courses across the curriculum. Students with Japanese fluency may enroll in courses taught in Japanese.

student tutoring Japanese students

Experience and understand the complex society of contemporary Japan

The university’s array of student clubs and activities provide a way to make friends as you pursue interests such as rugby, martial arts, riding, koto, and international student and foreign language clubs.

On the program’s Cultural Internship, you’ll experience life in another part of Japan for about a month through community engagement, such as assisting in a rural school, apprenticing at a pottery studio, or living in a Buddhist temple.

"On the Japan Study program, I learned to become extremely independent. Being in a foreign country, where you're basically on your own, forces you to grow up quickly. I was no longer able to depend on my mother or father to get me out of binds, and having this self-sufficient trait is something that would have taken a lot longer for me to acquire had I not participated in Japan Study. Not to mention that my Japanese is amazing now."

Laura Woodland
Laura Woodland
Japanese/Asian studies major


  • Full Year (mid-September to early August)
  • Fall Semester (mid-September to mid-February)
  • Spring Semester (late March to early August)

Host institution

Waseda University in Tokyo

Living arrangements

Students live in a homestay with a Japanese host family.

Application deadlines

The application deadline for the 2024-2025 academic year is January 2, 2024.

Faculty Advisors & Contacts


Eric Wiertelak

Resident Director, 2023–24
Professor of Psychology, Macalester College

Faculty Advisors

Speak with the program faculty advisor on your campus to learn more.

Beloit College

Susan Furukawa furukawas@beloit.edu

Lawrence University

Lezlie Weber lezlie.r.weber@lawrence.edu

Carleton College

Noboru Tomonari ntomonar@carleton.edu

Luther College

Gereon Kopf kopfg@luther.edu

Coe College

David Nordmann dnordman@coe.edu

Macalester College

Satoko Suzuki suzuki@macalester.edu

Arthur Mitchell amitche3@macalester.edu

Colorado College

Francesca Pizarro fpizarro2023@coloradocollege.edu

Monmouth College

Tim Gaster tgaster@monmouthcollege.edu

Cornell College

Erin Davis edavis@cornellcollege.edu

Ripon College

Michele Wittler wittlerm@ripon.edu

Grinnell College

Mariko Schimmel schimmel@grinnell.edu

St. Olaf College

Joanne Quimby quimby2@stolaf.edu

Knox College

Natsumi Hayashi nhayashi@knox.edu 


Michael Vertovec, Associate Program Manager
180 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 2020, Chicago, IL 60601
312.561.5934 / mvertovec@acm.edu

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