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Japan Term

Knox students delve into the language, history, and philosophy of Japan through Japan Term, an interdisciplinary program that integrates coursework with a two-week trip to Japan.


Japan term lets students immerse themselves in a culture and then be able to apply what they've learned outside the classroom. The goal is to make students purposeful travelers rather than passive students.

The program balances group travel with individual and small group projects tailored to interests developed during the coursework. Travel concentrates on opportunities to communicate with local residents while studying history and philosophy. Participants also have the opportunity to meet Knox alumni, exchange students, and other Knox students studying in Japan. Returning students have the option of enrolling in a seminar to complete longer research and creative projects.

Coursework The term begins with three classes during fall term: Japanese language (100 or 200 level), Modern Japan History, and Japanese Buddhism. A half-credit course teaches skills for traveling in a foreign country and designing study projects such as journals, research papers, or digital essays, that students complete during the trip to Japan.

The term culminates in a two-week trip during winter break. Students visit the modern capital of Tokyo and the ancient capital of Kyoto, with side trips to the capital cities of Nara and Kamukura, giving access to every major period in Japanese history. Hiroshima allows exploration of a site of pre-modern history as well as modern international significance. For philosophy, Kyoto is the seat of Buddhist learning and modern philosophical movements in Japan. Tokyo and Osaka offer access to art and theatre that serve for many as the best expressions of these philosophical traditions.

Japan Term
Learn more about the most recent Japan Term

The most recent Japan Term sent fourteen students to Japan over the 2010-11 winter break. Learn more about their preparations, experience, and continuing reflections of those students.

Students & Faculty Prepare for Japan Term
Japan Term Trip & Photo Update
VIDEO: Students & Faculty Reflect on Their Japan Term Experiences

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