Environmental Studies and Sustainability in Japan 2019


Summer programs offer students an opportunity to study abroad outside of the academic year. All offer credit, however each program is structured differently and planned by individual faculty members.

The Japan summer program combines Japanese language and culture study with sustainability and environmental topics and is open to all students from any major. Traveling with WU faculty, the program combines instruction and program excursions in conjunction with WU's sister university, Tokyo International University in Kawagoe, Japan.  Students live in a comfortable residence hotel located a quick train ride from TIU's campus.

To Apply: Use the Willamette study abroad application portal. The program name is Summer Japan. The deadline is December 4, 2018 for summer 2019 participation.


Are you interested in Japan and Sustainability? Students approved for this program will spend three-and-a-half weeks in Japan, based at our sister institution Tokyo International University (TIU).  Formal activities will include classes in Japanese language and Japanese environmental studies. In addition to readings and lectures, students will take part in fieldtrips and excursions to libraries and museums, municipal and prefecture offices, and other relevant sites where sustainability-related community activities take place, including forests, etc. Students will engage in volunteer and community-based service learning activities, and observe conservation practices where possible. Besides direct observation and reflection, students will participate in data collection, organization, and analysis.

This summer study abroad program runs soon after classes end in May to early June, allowing students to participate in other activities later in the summer. Earn 1 credit in interdisciplinary studies (IDS 344) plus the course carries an “Understanding Society” MOI and a Service Learning designation. This experience is designed for students interested in Asia generally, Japan specifically, and Environmental Studies.

Students from all academic disciplines are encouraged to apply but priority is given in high demand years to students studying Japanese language or Environmental Studies. Pending approval by appropriate departments, this credit may be applied to interdisciplinary majors such as Asian Studies, Japanese Studies, Chinese Studies, International Studies, and Environmental Studies. History majors may also seek credit toward a major with an Asian concentration. There will be a language component to this summer course: Beginning level classes for students with no background in Japanese; and Intermediate level with vocabulary and exercises focusing on environmental and sustainability issues for students with some background.

Program Details


Kawagoe, Japan


Profs. Joe BowersoxEnvironmental and Earth Sciences and Miho Fujiwara, Japanese .

Special Program Note

Limited to 12 participants


Earn 1.0 WU credit, IDS 334: Field Studies: Environmental Studies and Sustainability in Japan, US MOI.  


This is a credit/no credit (CR/NC) course. 


Students will get more specific instructions after the are approved, but tentatively, these are the important dates:

  • Arrival: Wednesday, May 22, 2019
  • Instruction begins:  Thursday, May 23, 2019
  • Departure/End of Housing: Friday, June 14, 2018

All dates listed here are subject to change until finalized. Students will need to travel on specific dates but will be given instructions after acceptance. 


Tentatively $2,700 based on 12 students (a generous grant from the Luce Foundation covers the majority of the costs for this program bringing the program cost down from $5,200). The program cost includes WU tuition, lodging, some meals, local transportation, study abroad health insurance, museum fees and field trips. 

  • Students who will have graduated by the time the program runs are eligible to apply but ARE NOT eligible for the grant funding support and will need to pay the full cost of the program, $5,200.  If you have questions about this, please email oieadvising@willamette.edu.  
  • Program cost DOES NOT include passport costs or transportation to and from Japan (est. $2,000). 

To Apply:  
Use the Willamette study abroad application portal.   

FIRST STEP, information session: Please see the Upcoming Events page.

For more information, contact oieadvising@willamette.edu.