Environmental Studies and Sustainability in Japan


Please check back in fall 2024 to apply.




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. This program is open to 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.

WU Students and NON-WU Students:  The deadline to apply will be December 2023 (date to be announced) for summer 2024 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 field trips 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 experience is designed for students interested in Asia generally, Japan specifically, and Environmental Studies.

This summer study abroad program runs soon after spring classes end in May to early June, allowing students to participate in other activities later in the summer. The program earns 4.0 credits in interdisciplinary studies (IDS 344). 

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 is 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. Miho Fujiwara, Japanese and Joe BowersoxEnvironmental and Earth Sciences.
Special Program Note
Limited to 12 participants.  
Earn 4.0 WU credits, IDS 334: Field Studies: Environmental Studies and Sustainability in Japan.
  • Satisfies Understanding Society MOI in previous General Education requirements
  • Still being determined for new (from 2019-20) General Education requirements
This is a credit/no credit (CR/NC) course. 
2025 dates are TBD. Students will receive specific arrival and departure instructions after they are approved at orientations held spring 2020.
  • Arrival: TBD
  • Instruction begins:  TBD
  • Departure/End of Housing: TBD
TRAVEL DATES: Students must travel on specific dates. Specific date and time instructions will be given after acceptance and students should wait to book flights until they receive this information at the site-specific program orientation. 
The program price for summer 2025 is still being determined. 
The program cost includes WU tuition, lodging, some meals, local transportation, study abroad health insurance, museum fees and field trips.   
  • Program cost DOES NOT include passport costs or transportation to and from Japan (est. $1,500). 
  • Some meals are not provided and students will need to bring funds if they overspend the transportation allowance provided due to personal travel.
  • It is suggested students are prepared to bring an additional $500 to cover expenses that may arise (more if they intend to travel outside of program dates).
**  Summer program prices are determined based on a student enrollment number so if we do not have 12 participants, the price may have to be adjusted up to cover the cost of operation.  We must have no fewer than 10 students to operate the program, but program price can be adjusted up if we have fewer than 12 students.  Summer programs are not priced to generate a profit for WU and any unused funds are refunded to students after the program is concluded.


For FIRST STEP and information session schedule: Please see the Upcoming Events page.

For more information, contact oieadvising@willamette.edu.


Non-Willamette Students

Student from other universities (not Willamette) should use the "Non-WU Students - Apply" button on this page. If you have specific questions about the program or the application, email the Office of International Education at oieadvising@willamette.edu.  

Non-Willamette students of all majors are welcome to apply, but in high demand years, priority is given to students studying Japanese language or Environmental Studies. 

Since space is limited to 12, priority is give to qualified WU students.  Non-WU students are encouraged to apply. 

Non-WU Students


DEADLINE for Non-WU students:  To be announced, but should be December 2024 for summer 2025 participation

Non-Willamette students of all majors are welcome to apply, but in high demand years, priority is given to students studying Japanese language or Environmental Studies. 

Since space is limited to 12, priority is give to qualified WU students. 

Non-WU students are encouraged to apply.

Willamette University

Office of International Education

Global Learning Center
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.

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