University Honors Program

University Honors Program

Japanese Language and Culture Experience

Fall semester 2012 study abroad in Japan, taking place two-weeks prior to the beginning of fall semester classes.


This honors seminar and study abroad experience is designed to give students basic Japanese language skills and introduce them to the cultural and professional environment of Japan.  In today’s global economy, it is essential for young professionals to understand the impact of cultural differences on business and industry.  The course will take place in over a two-week period.  It will consist of 36 hours of language instruction as well as daily site visits to companies and historical and cultural sites in Japan.

The University of Cincinnati has offered an International Co-op Program (ICP) in since the mid-1990’s.  Through this program students complete over 300 hours of Japanese instruction followed by a capstone six-month co-op experience in Japan.  The decision to participate in the ICP is a tremendous investment with a variety of “unknowns”.  This study tour program is designed to give co-op students a small taste of the Japanese language as well as ’s history and culture in a protected environment.  Students will also have the opportunity to visit ICP employers and meet with ICP students currently co-oping in Japan. 

For many students, this study tour will be their first exposure to a foreign country.  After this first exposure, some may decide to pursue a longer study abroad or co-op in , or another location, later in their studies.  

Through this study tour students will:

  • Develop very basic Japanese language skills through instruction at the Intercultural Institute of Japan (IIJ) in Japan.
  • Develop an understanding of Japanese culture through the home stay program with a family.
  • Be introduced to activities and goals of US companies doing business in as well as traditional Japanese companies and the Japanese work environment.
  • Be exposed to Japanese history and culture.
  • Be provided with the tools to compare and contrast various aspects of the American and Japanese cultures.

Itinerary (Subject to Change)

Expected study tour dates are August 3-18, 2012. Tentative itinerary includes (subject to change): 

August 3 -  Depart Cincinnati
August 4 - Arrive in Tokyo and meet host families
August 5 - Day to get to know your host family
August 6 - 9 - Japanese language classes in mornings, site visits in afternoons
August 10 - Japanese language class in morning, travel to Kyoto, check into authentic Japanese ryokan and explore the famous Kyoto train station
August 11 - 12 - Visit various sites, which may include Nara (a large park home to sacred deer and to the Todaiji Temple), Golden Palace, Nijo Castle and the Kyoto Handicraft Center.
August 12 - return to Tokyo early evening
August 13 - 17 - Japanese language classes in mornings, site visits in afternoons
August 18 - Depart Tokyo for the US

Site visits in Tokyo may include Ueno Park and Japanese Market, IHI Corporation (one of Japan's oldest and most traditional companies), Meiji Shrine and Harajuku, Asakusa Temple and Shrine, Sony building, Shimizu (one of the largest planning and architectural companies in Japan).

Application and interview required.

University Honors students must be in good standing with the UHP to participate.

The original application deadline was in January, but applications are still being accepted as space is available. If you are interested, you are encouraged to apply. 

Applicants will be contacted for an interview with the faculty director, Professor Gayle Elliott. Applicants will be notified of their status prior to fall semester registration.  

All UC undergraduate students with a cumulative university GPA of 3.4 or above are encouraged to apply to participate. All participating students will receive the honors grant mentioned under costs.

Total cost is expected to be $4600 per student.

University Honors will provide each participant with an $1400 grant to offset the cost. This grant will make the actual cost $3200.

Costs include airfare, accommodations (host families in Tokyo and hotel in Kyoto), some meals (meals eaten in host families homes as well as one group meal), Japan rail pass, Japanese language classes, program costs, site visits and tours.

Costs do not include baggage fees, passport, insurance (travel/medical), some meals (any meals not eaten with host family in Tokyo), local transportation (any rail or other ground transportation not covered by the Japan rail pass), snacks, vaccinations, personal supplies, souvenirs, or ISIC card (international student identity card, $22).

Students are required to purchase an ISIC (International Student Identity Card) from UC International for $22. This is not included in the total expected cost.

Participants can apply for grants from UC International.

Participants who are not in University Honors will also receive the $1400 honors grant.

Contact the faculty director Gayle Elliott at or Debbie Brawn at .

UC Students in Japan