Students will have the opportunity to learn about the politics, culture, and globalization of Japan, with a particular focus on the dynamics of urban life in Tokyo and Kyoto. Students will also learn about the changing demographics and role of public policy and family in one of the most global and dynamic cities. They will participate in a cultural dialogue with students from Meiji University while staying three days at a traditional guesthouse near Mt. Fuji, developing strong bonds with students who will be joining the Dialogue for most of the experience. Students will continue to develop their knowledge of Japanese society through directed visits to sites of political, historical, cultural, and economic importance, attend lectures from Japanese faculty and officials, and develop enduring friendships with students from Japan. Dialogue participants are invited to join and support students from Meiji University on their Dialogue visit to Boston later in the summer.

Open to all majors. This program will meet the social policy requirement for Human Services majors, and it fulfills elective requirements for the Political Science and International Affairs majors.

Application Procedure

  • Application Open: November 1, 2018
  • Application Deadline: January 15, 2019
Submit to GEO
  • GEO Application: All applicants must complete the GEO application. This is the first step for applying to any program.
  • $500 non-refundable deposit: Deposits must be paid through NUPay. Be sure to select the appropriate summer term.
  • Photocopy of Passport: This is to be given to your faculty leader after acceptance.
  • Faculty Interview: Faculty will schedule interviews with applicants of interest to determine acceptance. The interviews can occur anytime before the final deadline.
  • Essay Questions: Answer each question in 2-3 paragraphs (completed online via GEO application).
    • What are your personal and academic reasons for wishing to participate in this Dialogue of Civilizations program?
    • How will the program further your academic and career goals?
    • What is your previous travel and language experience, if any?
    • What courses have you taken which are directly relevant to the program?

Applications are not considered complete until deposit is received. This deposit will be applied to the full cost of the program.

Update My Travel Plans on myNortheastern
Once you have been accepted into the program and your the flight and accommodation details have been shared with you, you are required to create an entry in My Travel Plans for the trip. Please be sure to enter the following pieces of information:
  • Personal and Emergency Contact Info
  • HealthTravel Info: Dates, flight and accommodation details, etc.
  • Passport Details: Passport number, Expiration date, Passport Country of issue, etc.

Please refer to this step-by-step user’s guide for directions on how to navigate the My Travel Plans system.

Should you fail to complete this step as directed, you may be prevented from traveling, may not receive credit for courses, and/or may be excluded from participating in other Northeastern global programs.

Eligibility Requirements

Studying abroad requires a valid passport. You may also need a visa and/or other travel documents. It is your responsibility to ensure that all your documents are valid and appropriate to the nature of your program.

Minimum Requirements
  • Minimum Cumulative GPA: 2.50
  • Minimum Semesters: Minimum of 2 completed Northeastern semesters at the time of program start date. NUin students are eligible to apply. Transfer and Global Pathways students contact GEO program coordinator for eligibility.

Courses

Students will have the opportunity to learn about the politics, culture, and globalization of Japan, with a particular focus on the dynamics of urban life in Tokyo and Kyoto. They will also participate in a cultural dialogue with students from Meiji University while staying three days at a traditional guesthouse near Mt. Fuji, developing strong bonds with students who will be join the Dialogue for most of the experience. Students will continue to develop their knowledge of Japanese society through directed visits to sites of political, historical, cultural, and economic importance, attend lectures from Japanese faculty and officials, and develop enduring friendships with students from Japan. Dialogue participants are invited to join and support students from Meiji University on their Dialogue visit to Boston later in the summer.

The Dialogue of Civilizations program is designed to be an intensive learning experience, and it is structured into three distinct phases to provide you a fulfilling and rewarding study abroad trip.

The Dialogue contains four primary themes, and these themes are integrated throughout the program experience including aspects of the two courses, excursions, field trips, tours, guest lectures, and final de-briefing upon return.

These themes are reflected in our selection of the textbooks, reading materials in the host country, and assignments. In summary, this structure achieves the program’s goals and the student learning goals put forth here.

1. The examination of history, politics, and international relations uncovers the complex historiography of narratives, events, and milestones of the development of Japan. The history of globalization and urbanization is the common thread that brings together these histories.

2. The analysis of patterns of globalization is an evolutionary process that is the foundation of the human development of Japanese society. Social, economic, and political processes transformed Japan into global system of cultural, economic, and political exchange.

3. The active learning of the Japanese culture and society provides an immersive experience whereby integrates that experience and creates a frame of reference for global citizenship in Japan and beyond.

4. The legacy of Japan as a nation state is one that has triumphed numerous social, economic, and political barriers to develop a strong capacity for resilience in the 21st century. We will use this lens as a framework and as a systemic methodology for our investigation into Japan in the 21st century.

Readings, assignments, and projects are established along the dimensions of the three phases of the program: Phase 1: Background, Preparation, and Pre-Trip Planning; Phase 2: Travel to Japan and the “Dialogue”; and Phase 3: Return to the United States and Reflection.

  • POLS 4937 - Government and Politics: Learning Abroad : (Understanding Societies and Institutions (SI) and Integrating Knowledge and Skills Through Experience (EX) NUPath) The course introduces students to Japan through an assessment of significant political and social challenges facing the state. Direct interactions with elements of Japan’s political, economic, and civil society organizations will provide students the opportunity to conduct meaningful comparative inquiry on domestic and foreign policy topics relevant to Japan and the United States. Students will visit relevant Japanese NGOs and cultural institutions, including, for example, public agencies, advocacy organizations, museums, shrines, and temples. Students will spend three days with Meiji University students at the university’s Seminar House near Mt. Fuji. This will give the students time to exchange ideas on political, policy, and cultural issues. This also allows for friendships and camaraderie to develop between Meiji and Northeastern students, creating a vehicle for future cultural and intellectual interactions between students of both schools. Interaction with Meiji students will continue throughout our stay in Tokyo, providing a unique opportunity for cultural immersion while in Japan.
  • POLS 4938 - International Politics: Learning Abroad : (Understanding Societies and Institutions (SI) and Integrating Knowledge and Skills Through Experience (EX) NUPath) The course introduces students to Japan through an assessment of significant political and social challenges facing the state. Direct interactions with elements of Japan’s political, economic, and social systems will provide students the opportunity to conduct meaningful comparative inquiry on domestic and foreign policy topics relevant to Japan and the United States. Students will visit to relevant Japanese cultural institutions, including, for example, public agencies, non-profit organizations, museums, shrines, and temples. Students will spend three days with Meiji University students at the university’s Seminar House near Mt. Fuji. This will give the students time to exchange ideas on political, policy, and cultural issues. This also allows for friendships and camaraderie to develop between Meiji and Northeastern students, creating a vehicle for future cultural and intellectual interactions between students of both schools. Interaction with Meiji students will continue throughout our stay in Tokyo, providing a unique opportunity for cultural immersion while in Japan.

Cost

Northeastern Tuition: $12,613
Dialogue of Civilizations Fee: $3,000
  • Northeastern Tuition and DOC Fee Includes: 8 Northeastern credits, international roundtrip airfare from Boston, accommodations for program duration, international security and emergency support, and program related expenses (local transportation, field trips, excursions and group meals)

Additional Estimated Expenses: $800
  • Students should anticipate spending this estimated amount during the program for meals and incidentals.

GEO offers scholarships and grants for students studying abroad on Dialogue of Civilizations programs. Please visit our Scholarships page for more info!

Resources

Additional Resources

Destination

Jump on the chance to join one of the original Dialogues at Northeastern! This program engages local students at Meiji University, which often results in the formation of long-lasting friendships with Northeastern students. Learn about the urbanization and globalization of the world’s largest city in an exciting, fast-paced urban environment. Explore urban neighborhoods of Tokyo; take a weekend trip to Mt. Fuji; and a weekend trip to Kyoto.

Students travel to Tokyo – one of the largest global cities in the world – where they will be based for one month, exploring its culture, history, politics, and people. Students will also spend a weekend near Lake Yamanaka where they meet and develop friendships with Meiji University students, culminating with a trip up Mount Fuji. Students will also travel on a 5-day trip to Kyoto, the historic capital of Japan and home to many key temples and gardens.

The U.S. State Department lists travel advisories, local laws, alerts from the embassy, and other important information about Japan here. Please review this information before applying.

Accommodations

  • Hostel: Students will stay in a brand-new housing at a hostel in Tokyo. It provides dormitory style housing for students with all standard hotel amenities available to all students. Breakfast is provide at the hostel and is free. Housekeeping service and wireless Internet are available for free. Onsite coin-laundry also provided. The hostel is ideally located in central Tokyo and has easy access to subway and majors sites through the city.
  • Seminar House: The group spends a weekend in a Seminar House with traditional style “bedrooms.” The complex, owned by Meiji University, is shared with student supporters from Meiji University where students meet and engage in a dialogue and reflection about their experiences. All food is provided by the facility during this weekend.
  • Hotel: Students will stay in a local hotel for the trip to Kyoto. All students will share standard hotel rooms, have their own bed, and can expect standard amenities one finds in western style hotels.

Host University or Organization

Since 2005, Meiji University and Northeastern University have partnered to bring global experiential educational programs to their students. As one of the first Dialogue of Civilizations at Northeastern University, this program is well-established and provides rich cultural exchanges for students. Meiji University hosts a welcome and farewell reception where students meet faculty, administrators, and local students. Meiji University is the site of our class lectures, meetings, and presentations. Additionally, support staff join our participants and a team of approximately 20 students from Meiji University join us on many site visits, and take our students out at night to explore Tokyo.

Faculty Advisor
Coordinators