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Enhance Your Education

Distinctive Programs in Japanese

While studying Japanese at Knox College, there are a number of ways to gain critical insight into Japanese culture and broaden your education beyond the classroom, such as by participating in a student research or honors project, embarking on an off-campus study program or engaging in independent study.

Student Research and Creative Projects
Knox is a leader in promoting top-notch undergraduate research. In fact, more than 90% of all Knox students complete an independent research or creative project by the time they graduate. Many students' projects are supported by an unusually rich array of Knox College funding programs that together provide students more than $200,000 each year in support of their work. These sources include: Richter Memorial Scholars Program, Ford Foundation Research Fellows Program, Ronald E. McNair Fellows Program and departmentally supported independent studies. In addition, special fellowships awarded to Knox through national competitions and through the research grants of Knox faculty make Knox a leader in promoting top-notch undergraduate research.

  • "Hirohito and the Declaration of Humanity: Portrayals of the Emperor in American Media," Laura Anderman, '10.
  • "Diversity and Identity within Japan," Joshua Lawitts, '10.
  • "Loss of Liberal Democratic Party Dominance in 1993 and 2009," Mary Vander Plas, '10.
  • "Itami Juzo: A Director in Social/Cultural Perspective," Scott Hirabayashi, '10.
  • "Modern Girls and the Interwar Period [in Japan]," Rachel Kueker, '10.

College Honors
Outstanding students may elect to undertake College Honors in their senior year, carrying out an advanced research project presented and defended to a faculty committee that includes a distinguished outside examiner. Examples of recent Honors projects include:

  • "Between Creation and Translation: Concept to Story, English to Japanese, Story to Animation," Jasmine Jobe '04.
  • "Identity Through Language and the Teaching of Japanese: The Impact of Classroom Learning and Japanese Media on the Acquirement of Gendered Speech in Japanese," Rachel Rucker '02.
  • "Fictions Behind the Mask: Subjectivity, Gender Performance, and 20th Century Japanese Women Artists," Eileen G'Sell '02.

Off-Campus Study
Knox has historic ties with Japan, going back to the 1920's, when a Knox alumnus and trustee, Edgar Bancroft, served as U.S. Ambassador to Japan. His will established the Bancroft Educational Foundation, which allowed numerous Japanese students to attend Knox College and Knox students to study at Waseda University in Tokyo, one of the largest private universities in the world, through the ACM-associated Japan Program.

The Japan Program curriculum includes intensive language instruction, as well as courses in English in the social sciences, arts and humanities that cover various topics in Japanese and Asian Studies. Advanced students can take classes taught in Japanese. Students live with Japanese families, and active participation in Japanese family life is an integral part of the experience. In the fall of 2002, Knox College sent five students to Japan on the program -- the college with the highest number of students doing so.

As with all students interested in off-campus study at Knox, faculty members work with students interested in Japanese off-campus study on early advising to ensure the best preparation for entering, and returning from, the program.

Internships
As a student of modern languages at Knox, you'll have the opportunity to expand your education -- to get that valuable experience you hear so much about -- by completing an internship. Internships provide an opportunity to explore and test career options, to gain experiences and skills needed to succeed as a professional, to build a resume, to network and make critical connections, and to experience a work environment. More and more employers are looking for college graduates with career-related experience. Knox's Center for Career and Pre-Professional Development specializes in helping you find an internship that best matches your goals and interests. A recent internship in Japanese was:

  • Language Tutor at Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan. Jasmine Jobe '04, creative writing and Japanese major.

JET
Many Knox students, in a variety of disciplines, are interested in the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program, which invites young college and university graduates to participate in international exchange and foreign language education throughout Japan. The program has earned a high reputation, both in Japan and overseas, for its efforts in human and cultural exchanges, and has become one of the largest cultural exchange programs in Japan. The program offers college and university graduates the opportunity to serve in local government organizations as well as public and private junior and senior high schools.

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