American students are increasingly incorporating study in a foreign country into their college educations, but many participate in short-term programs that limit their engagement with any more than the superficial aspects of the host culture. This article describes a short-term study abroad course for American students to Japan in which the authors drew on an “emic” host country model of group travel in an effort to combine high academic standards, personal growth, and deepened engagement with Japanese culture. The authors first consider the history of study tours in U.S. study abroad and then look at an alternative model provided by Japanese school trips. The authors explain the process by which their American students read, research, and work in groups to plan the itinerary for their study tour. The final section reports on their preliminary evaluations of the program and their plans for future excursions sponsored by the East Asian Studies program.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/susan_long/3/