JAPN235:The Japan Experience: Kyoto is designed to provide students an opportunity to use Japanese language skills they have acquired in real life situations and deepen their understanding of Japanese language and culture through experiential learning. The course has three major learning components: "Japanese Language Learning through Activities and Cultural Experiences," "Japan Exploration Project," and "Exchanges with Local College Students" and will consist of class meetings before the trip focused on preparation followed by 15 days in Kyoto.
In Kyoto, students will explore the local neighborhood and report their findings in class. Several cultural activities will be organized: Zen meditation, tea activity, Japanese cooking class, etc. The tea activity will include a rare opportunity for students to meet a tea ceremony master, Shiou Tsukuda, and experience the way of Japanese traditional tea.
Students from CWRU will be able to take advantage of Ritsumeikan University's "Buddies" program where Japanese student volunteers are paired with participants to improve conversational skills and become better acquainted with the campus and Kyoto. CWRU students will also visit classes at a local college in Osaka for exchanges with students there. These exchanges will allow participants to reinforce their language skills, develop better communication skills, and deepen cultural understanding in both classroom and real-life settings.
Students will complete individual projects during the course. They will design their own projects using resources available in Kyoto before the trip and prepare for it. Project themes will be chosen by students based on their interests. At the end of course, students will give presentations in Japanese, demonstrating their language proficiency development.