Japan: Language and Cultural Traditions

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Japan: Language and Cultural Traditions

Study Japanese, live with a host family, and explore the cultural and historical sights of Tokyo, Sapporo, and Kyoto on this immersive high school summer abroad program. While in Sapporo, receive 30–35 hours of formal language instruction—provided at three language levels—in small-group, interactive formats. Practice reading and writing hiragana and kanji with Japanese teachers. Participate in language exchanges with local students while practicing communication skills for everyday life in Japan and your upcoming homestay. Take time to sample local delicacies, order gyoza and sushi at local restaurants, explore Japan’s natural beauty, and learn about the indigenous Ainu culture of Hokkaido. Visit the homes of local college students to learn about Japanese home life and cook together.
You will further enhance your Japanese and deepen your understanding of culture and family life in Japan through the program’s homestay. Learn to cook homemade soba noodles or to roll your own sushi with your host parents, and hang out with your host siblings. Take advantage of opportunities to learn the art of Japanese flower arrangement or the tea ceremony. Activities during this time could also include visiting a local school, practicing Zen meditation, or participating in a traditional festival.
Your exploration through Japan continues as you spend several days exploring the temples, markets, and shrines of ancient Kyoto. Hike to Nijō Castle, home to the ancient imperial court, and visit the golden-walled Kinkaku-ji temple. The program begins and ends in Tokyo, where you and your group will explore the famous sites, museums, and diverse neighborhoods of one of the world’s most populous cities.

Subjects

  • Culture

Related Programs

Spain: Language and Cultural Traditions

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Rapidly improve your Spanish through a month of immersive language study and historical and contemporary exploration through Spain. Begin your month of language immersion in Spain’s capital — Madrid — as you spend time at the city’s famous sites and museums, explore its neighborhoods, and sample Spanish cuisine. Then, travel to southern Spain, to the province of Andalucía, where you will engage in intensive Spanish language training.

This high school summer abroad program has two separate language groups. One group has Spanish training in the historic city of Granada, where, for four hours each day, the group attends small-group, interactive language classes divided by language level at the Centro de Lenguas y Educación Intercultural. Learn inside and outside the classroom through music, film, city scavenger hunts, and field trips. After class, take advantage of opportunities to meet up with Spanish students learning English and join them for sporting or cultural events. The program’s other group has language classes and immersive arts training in Guadix. This group participates in workshops focused on flamenco, ceramics, theatrical performance, and other arts, in addition to the language training. In Guadix, there are opportunities to learn about Romani culture and Gitano identity and to perform flamenco and traditional village dances with local community members.

Both groups explore Granada’s sites — including the Alhambra, city gardens, and local museums — to better understand the city’s historical layers and contemporary culture. All students also have a homestay in an Andalusian town. Enjoy family meals and visit local markets, beaches, and cafés as you continue to enhance your Spanish through constant conversation with host family members. The program incorporates some outdoor activities such as camping, trekking, and excursions to the beach. Students return to Madrid for final reflection and language practice before departing for home.

Language Certificate: At the conclusion of this program, each participant will earn a language certificate noting how many hours of language classes s/he completed.

Orientation: Madrid, 3 days
Homestay: Guadix, Priego, or Motril, 10–12 days
Other Accommodations: Hotels, student residence, camping lodge

Experiment In International Living

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Spain: Regional Cultures

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Experience the differences in regions and cultures across Spain on this high school summer abroad program. Your journey begins with an immersive orientation in Spain’s capital and largest city, Madrid. Immediately begin practicing your Spanish as you navigate the city’s medieval streets, visit the Prado Museum on Madrid’s “museum mile,” order tapas and other Spanish cuisine in local cafés, and visit the Habsburg district. Take a full-day excursion to historic Toledo as your knowledge of Spain’s history and culture deepens.

Then, experience an entirely different region of Spain as you and your group travel from Madrid to your homestay location. Spend two weeks immersed in a Spanish community as you come to experience Spain’s regional differences. Your Spanish language skills grow through study and daily interactions with your host family. Take day trips to explore the surrounding area with your Experiment group. Participate in flamenco classes, attend workshops with a local NGO that works with youth, and learn how to cook regional specialties. The homestay community varies each year.

Your exploration of Spain’s cultures and regional differences continues as you and your group travel to Barcelona — Spain’s second largest city and the capital of Catalonia. Visit Barcelona’s numerous World Heritage sites, parks, the Picasso Museum, and the Olympic Harbor. See the architecture of Gaudí, taste tapas on La Rambla, and get introduced to the regional language of Catalan. Return to Madrid for a final day of exploration and reflection.

Orientation: Madrid, 3 days
Homestays: Valencia, Vilagarcia (Galicia), Ubeda (Andalucía), or Logrono (La Rioja), 13 days
Other Accommodations: Hotels and apartments

Experiment In International Living

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