Japan—A Pacific Perspective:One Course Summer Study Abroad Program
Come Study World Cultures in Japan.
Students choose either World Cultures or Canadian and World Politics
World Cultures – Grade 12
This course explores how we acquire cultural identity; how groups maintain a sense of self; and how cultures are transformed over time. Japan allows students to investigate a culture fundamentally different than their own. As they compare the Japanese spiritual beliefs, art forms, and philosophy with their own, students gain a richer perspective while developing their skills of research and analysis.
Canadian and World Politics – Grade 12
This course promotes active, engaged global citizenship, exploring differing perspectives on issues in Canadian and world politics. Students investigate political decision making processes and the ways that individual citizens, stakeholder groups, and various institutions influence the world they live in. Analyzing governments, multinational corporations, and non-governmental organizations in both Canada and Japan allows for a unique perspective from which to investigate issues, events, and developments of international importance.
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Prep Session 1: Early May, 2018
Flight and hotel details are available on individual program sites, available to registered students and their parents.
Preparation and Course Work
In order to ease into the program, students have access to the course website where reading lists will be posted. Course preparation is spread out over four weeks: our first two-week preparation session begins in early May, focusing on course readings; the second two-week session begins in late June, focusing on completing small assignments. These online sessions are designed to connect students with their teachers and classmates, to help complete short tasks, and to alleviate the workload during the summer. Students are required to complete all foundation work prior to leaving to ensure they are ready to hit the ground running while overseas.
Departure From Toronto (Day 1)
Our North American departure hub is Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. Five hours prior to our departure, a short meeting will be held at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel, Terminal 3, to distribute course packs and maps and to clarify travel procedures. All students are responsible for making their own travel arrangements to the Sheraton Gateway Hotel. Students making alternate arrangements must contact MEI before November 30.
Hiroshima and Miyajima (Day 2–5)
We travel first to the remarkable, yet tragic city of Hiroshima. At the beautiful Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Museum, students reflect on the resilience of the Japanese people, and develop meaningful perspectives on war, memory, and international relations. Hiroshima has revived itself from the utter destruction of 1945 to a city filled with art and culture, and students have the opportunity to investigate modern Japan with a visit to the Museum of Contemporary Art. An hour away from Hiroshima is Miyajima and the Itsukushima Shrine, which transports students back in time to the famous Torii Gates, where they reflect on the unique cultural heritage of the Japanese.
Osaka (Day 5–7)
A bullet train takes the class to Osaka, another city of opposites, where we explore contrasting attractions like the marine-life aquarium and the Osaka Castle. Students explore the relationship between a once-isolated Japan and the rest of the world. We trace the economic miracle of post WWII Japan to its present day struggles with lagging economy and an aging population. Evenings are spent walking along the Dōtonbori canal—a mix of Venice and New York’s Times Square. This part of Osaka is filled with giant, colorful billboards and advertisements that are examples of the East-West assimilation.
Kyoto (Day 7–12)
The cultural heart of Japan, Kyoto is known to many North Americans for the failed Kyoto Protocol, and is perfect for delving into the complexities of climate change, international agreements, and the power of protest. The City of Ten Thousand Shrines, Kyoto teems with Buddhist temples, Zen gardens, palaces, and traditional wooden bridges and homes. Amid this beauty, students learn more about a traditional art form performed by female Japanese, known as Geisha.
Takayama and Nagoya (Day 12–19)
With a slower pace, the class will leave their time in Takayama with a completed essay and rewrite, as well as some research for their final Independent Study Unit interviews. A visit to the Toyota museum in Nagoya makes for interesting discussions about importing and exporting vehicles around the world and the notion of progress traps, as students weigh the pros and cons of a car-centric society.
Tokyo (Day 19–25)
Japan’s bustling capital is the last stop on our journey through Japan. A swirl of traditional and modern worlds, students will love exploring the neon-lit streets, towering skyscrapers, and anime shops, juxtaposed by serene parks dotted with temples and cherry trees. Students visit sites like Shibuya crossing—the busiest pedestrian crossing in the world—and the lively and fashionable Roppongi and Harajuku neighborhoods. Over meals of Japanese BBQ and bowls of shabu shabu, students will reflect on their time in Japan in preparation for their final exams after which students bid a fond farewell from atop the Tokyo Tower.
Travel dates subject to change.
All prices include international student fees.
- Ministry-approved credit(s) upon successful completion of the course(s)
- Custom course pack
- Student Login
- MEI journal
- Digital yearbook
- Hotels and accommodations
- Breakfast and dinner daily
- Entrance fees to all course-specific sites
- Return airfare from Toronto’s Pearson International Airport
- Transportation between hotel locations via private coach
- Transportation for all listed program excursions
- Travel Visas
- All airline taxes, charges and fees
- Registration fee
- Course texts
- Medical Insurance and Cancellation Protection*
*All students travelling with MEI Academy are required to purchase Medical Insurance.
You can now use your points to partially or fully pay for your MEI invoice.
Students can now fund school fees with loyalty points! Aeroplan® Miles or TD Points, to be specific!
MEI International Academy is pleased to announce it has joined the HigherEdPoints.com Program as a Participating Institution. With this new partnership, students are able to convert Aeroplan® Miles and/or TD Points into funds to help cover their fees at MEI International Academy.
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