Japan polaroids

Program Overview

This program is designed to provide the opportunity for students to reflect about teaching and learning as they look at education through the eyes of Japanese educators. Students will spend two weeks in Japan. The first week, consisting of intense, informed cultural immersion will assist the students in becoming familiar with cultural aspects of Japan that impact education. The group will stay together as we visit various sights in Japan. Conversation will focus on the culture and its impact on education.

The second week, spent in Japanese schools observing and working with Japanese teachers, will support students in understanding the perspective Japanese teachers have chosen from which to work with students and in reflecting about our perspectives toward education in our country. Each group will have two or three native Japanese translators with them as they travel to their school, while at the school, and as they travel back to the hotel. Students will participate in collaborative reflection groups sharing observations and exploring connections. Comparing educational practices of the two countries will further facilitate this reflection and learning. View flyer >


Students may enroll in 3 hours or 6 hours of coursework. Undergraduate students will be able to utilize their semester hours as electives or as substitution for academic concentration requirements. Graduate students will be able to use the hours from this course as electives or as a substitute for the multi-cultural requirement in the core area of their program.

EDN 350 - Comparative Education
EDN 581 - Comparative International Education
EDN 455 - International Ed. Field Exp.
EDN 592 - Seminar in International Education

Program Activities and Features:

  • Spring 2018 - Class meets on-line and face to face (16 hours)
  • Sat Jun 17 - Travel to Osaka, Japan (Arrive Sunday evening, Jun 18)
  • Mon Jun 19 - Visit Kyoto and temples and shrines
  • Tues Jun 20 - Travel to Nara; visit temple there; visit Minoo Falls
  • Wed Jun 21 - Travel to Hiroshima via Bullet Train; visit Peace Park
  • Thur Jun 22 - Visit Miya Jima Island, Kintaikyo
  • Fri Jun 23 - Visit Matsue Castle and Adachi Art Museum
  • Sat Jun 24 - Return to Osaka; Visit Naruto and cross Inland Sea
  • Sun Jun 25 - Travel to Tokyo, Visit Odaiba, Imperial Gardens and Museum
  • Mon Jun 26 - Visit Japanese high school, middle school, elementary school, and preschool
  • Tue Jun 27 - Spend day in assigned school,
  • Wed Jun 28 - Spend day in assigned school
  • Thur Jun 29 - Spend day in assigned school
  • Fri Jun 30 - Spend day in assigned school
  • Sat July 1 - Return to Wilmington
  • Fri July 9 - Final Examination

Students will participate in a reflection seminar to be held each evening upon return to the hotel. During the seminar students will share observations and discuss possible explanations, connections, questions, etc. Additionally, students will keep a reflection log in which they will record observations, connections, questions, etc.


Osaka, Japan

Tentative Program Dates

June 17 - July 1, 2018

Program Leader(s)

Dr. Tracy Hargrove - hargrovet@uncw.edu
Dr. Kathy Fox - foxk@uncw.edu


Students are eligible to apply for this program if they meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Degree-seeking student
  • Students must be admitted to the Watson College of Education
  • At least junior standing at time of participation
  • Good judicial standing
  • 2.5+ GPA at time of application


Application Deadline: February 5, 2018

Estimated Program Fee


Program Fees include:

  • Airline ticket
  • Lodging
  • Local transportation (rail pass)
  • Health insurance
  • All meals
  • Entrance fees to museums and temples

Federal and state financial aid may be applied toward this program. Even if you are normally ineligible for financial aid, you should submit a financial aid application (FAFSA). You may find that you are eligible for additional funding.

UNCW students may also apply for a UNCW Education Abroad Grant and additional study abroad scholarships. Grant applications and additional information are available at: www.uncw.edu/international/abroad/aid.html