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· FACULTY-LED · Japan: Me, Myself, and We
Tokyo, Japan (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Winter Break
This program is currently not accepting applications.
Estimated Costs: Winter Break
Fact Sheet:
Language of Instruction: English Program Type: NDSU Global (NDSU Credit)
Academic Level: Freshman
About the Program:
NDSU Faculty-led - Sociology

Japan: Me, Myself, and We


Freshmen, explore your identity by immersing yourself in the international hub of Tokyo, Japan. Through interactions with Japanese people and traditional and popular culture, you will reflect on how narratives are used by people and countries to define themselves. Highlights will include the stunning view from the top of Tokyo Sky Tree, the pop culture of Akihabara and Harajuku, and ringing in the new year 108 traditional midnight bells.

Why is the program unique? 

Participants will learn about identity theory and Japanese culture in class before departure. While abroad:

  • Marvel at the world's most populous city from the top of the world's tallest tower, Tokyo Sky Tree
  • Explore the contrasts of Japanese sub-cultures: popular culture and anime in Akihabara, the rockabillies of Yoyogi Park, and the gothic lolita culture of Harajuku
  • Ring in the new year with the bustling festival and 108 traditional midnight bells at Senso-ji in Asakusa, the oldest shrine in Tokyo.
  • Climb Takao-san, a beautiful natural mountain with views of Mount Fuji
  • Witness the annual greeting by the Japanese imperial family, explore the complex narratives of imperial aggression at Yasukuni Jinja, and discuss our own legacy of the atomic bomb at the painting Myth of Tomorrow
  • Explore the relationship between history and the future by contrasting the Edo-Tokyo Open-air Architectural Museum and the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan)
  • Enjoy traditional living by staying at a Japanese ryokan throughout the program
Japan: Me, Myself and We

About the Course

This program is designed for freshmen to give you an opportunity to talk about the big questions you might have in coming to NDSU: Who am I? What do I want to do with myself? The program is limited to 12 participants and initially open only to freshman participants.

This course consists of two courses, one in the fall to start learning about the topic of identity and Japan, and one in the spring that includes the time abroad and a final project on return. Participation in the fall course, the abroad portion, and the spring course are all required aspects of this program.

  • Fall SOC 179  - The fall 2-credit course will meet weekly to serve the foundation of understanding the relationship between identity and context, as well introduce an understanding of Japanese culture. This will be an in-person course, starting on September 18 and running through the end of the semester on Mondays from 4:30-6:30 p.m.
    Students who sign up for this program will be contacted in mid-August with instructions on how to add this class to their fall schedules.
  • Spring SOC 279 - The remaining 1 credit will be earned during spring semester through experiential learning in Japan, as well as 3 required class meetings in January (January 15, 22, and 29). Students will create a digital story video telling a story from their time abroad, and then reflect on how they used narrative theory in practice. The course is planned for the same time as the fall course. 

The program leaders are working on getting approval for this program to satisfy the Social and Behavioral Sciences (B) and Global Perspectives (G) general education requirements, but this has not been officially approved yet. If it is not approved, students can still apply individually for approval to have the course approved to meet general education requirements using the Appeal General Education Requirements form (more information on this process is available under Faculty-led Programs on the Academics page).  

Abroad Dates and Tentative Itinerary

December 27, 2017 - January 7, 2018

Tentative Itinerary (See PDF version: Schedule - Short 2017-18.pdf)
Note: The exact schedule and events may change due to availability and closures around the New Year holiday.
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
DEC 24 25 26 27
Depart US
Arrive Japan
Go to Hotel

Area Tour/ Shiodome Winter Illumination

Group Food Exploration
How to
• Use Trains
• ATMs
• Conbini

Tsukiji Fish Market (10AM)

Walking Tour of Ueno Park & Shitamachi Museum


Akihabara Walking Tour

Idol Concert
Yoyogi Park / Meiji Shrine / Harajuku

New Year’s Events at Asakusa for Festival

Oji Kitsune-no- gyoretsu Fox Parade
(Mtn 40 min from Shinjuku: cable car, Takao-san Natural Zoo and Botanical Garden, shrine, view of Mt Fuji, local New Year’s events)

Group Dinner
New Year’s Greeting by Emperor

Yasukuni Jinja and Museum
Myth of Tomorrow painting and Hachiko in Shibuya

Evening in Shibuya
Free Day
Miraikan (National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation) / Odaiba

Tea Ceremony

Kanji name writing Asakusa tour

Tokyo Skytree
TMG Observation / Walking Tour of Shinjuku / Kabukicho / Owl Café

Waseda Tour

Robot Restaurant
Edo-Tokyo Museum

Nagomi Visit for Lunch

Geisha Performance in Nihonbashi

Group Dinner
Return to US
Classes at NDSU Start
9 10 11 12 13

Program Cost

The program cost is $3650, which includes round-trip airfare, housing costs, local ground travel using local trains, tours, admission fees, all breakfasts on-site, 1 lunch, 2 dinners, leader costs, and international health insurance. Students are also required to pay a $300 Study Abroad User Fee for the term that they are away from campus. More details on expected expenses, including out of pocket spending, are included on the program budget page.

These are regular fall and spring semester courses, so full-time students will pay their regular full-time tuition costs. Part-time students will pay tuition for 3-credits following the part-time tuition rate.

Contact for more information

Faculty Leader:
Callie Dominique Speer

Pamela Emanuelson

Assistant Director of Study Abroad:
Tanya Kramer



Dates / Deadlines:
There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
This program is currently not accepting applications.