Revised June 2023
The American Studies Program (ASP) at Willamette University is dedicated to providing a transformative international educational experience for students from our official partner university in Japan. Our mission is to foster cultural exchange, promote language proficiency, and deepen students’ understanding of American society and its diverse cultural heritage.
To achieve our mission, ASP offers immersive academic coursework, engaging co-curricular activities, and meaningful interactions with faculty, staff, and the broader campus and local communities. We believe in empowering students to be active global citizens with the knowledge, skills, and perspectives necessary to navigate the complexities of our modern world.
Our mission is guided by the following five core values:
- Academic Excellence: We offer rigorous academic courses that promote critical thinking and interdisciplinary learning through a curriculum that provides a broad foundation of American history, literature, society, and culture. We value and encourage intellectual curiosity, creativity, and active student engagement.
- Cultural Immersion: Our students are immersed in intercultural experiential learning that allows them to fully engage in American campus life. Through living in campus housing, participating in extracurricular activities, and interacting with domestic students, ASP participants develop a deep appreciation for American culture while sharing their own unique perspectives.
- Language Proficiency: We prioritize the development of English language proficiency by providing opportunities to practice the language in both academic and social contexts. We seek to advance students' linguistic abilities by enabling effective communication and facilitating intercultural exchange through data-driven instructional approaches and pedagogical strategies for teaching English as a second language.
- Intercultural Competence: We foster intercultural understanding, respect, and empathy through dialogue, diversity, and inclusivity. We encourage students to embrace cultural differences, challenge preconceptions, and cultivate the skills needed to navigate diverse global environments.
- Personal Growth and Global Citizenship: In line with the University’s mission to turn knowledge into action and lead lives of achievement, contribution, and meaning, we support students' personal growth, leadership development, and global citizenship. ASP encourages participants to explore their own identities, engage in community service, and become active contributors to society, equipped with the knowledge and skills to address local and global challenges.