Japan: Japanese Theater & Language

*Please note:  The next time this program will run is Spring/Summer 2021. Details below are subject to change.

TOKYO AND OSAKA, JAPAN - This unique program provides students at multiple language levels the opportunity to immerse themselves in Japanese culture. The trip begins with three weeks in Tokyo, the nation's capital and cosmopolitan center, continuing with three weeks in Osaka, Japan's second largest city and center of the historically and culturally important Kansai region. Students will explore Japan's past and present by exploring Tokyo urban centers such as Shibuya, Shinjuku, and Akihabara and ancient shrine and temple complexes in Nikko, Kyoto, and Nara. 

The program includes two courses, one in Japanese theater and the other in Japanese language in practice. The Japanese theater course focuses on nô, kyôgen, kabuki, and bunraku, the four major genres of traditional Japanese theater, but also extends to more modern genres and the role of performance in everyday life. The language course is focused on putting language into active use and is open to students at all ability levels. Both classes take full advantage of the Japanese setting, with field trips to view live theatrical performances and regular language activities centered on completing concrete tasks through interaction with native speakers in the community. 

Past Participant Reflections 
Japan Language Flickr

Cultural Info

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The next application period opens August 1, 2020

2.0 GPA Required
English Language Requirement
Issue Friendly

Program Dates and Application Deadline

Spring/Summer 2020

Program Dates: May 6, 2020 - June 16, 2020
Application Deadline: February 1, 2020 (Closed)

Spring/Summer 2021

Estimated Program Dates: May 2021 - June 2021
Application Deadline: February 1, 2021 (Opens August 1, 2020)

(6 weeks)



Students will register for a total of 6 credits:
EAS 333: Japanese Theater (3 credits) AND  
JPN 285: Japanese Language in Practice (3 credits) 

Fulfills entire General Education Issues requirement.   Reflection required.

Language of Instruction: English and Japanese



Cost and Scholarships



Program Fee: $4,878


  • Round-trip transportation from Grand Rapids
  • Accommodation
  • Field trips and fees
  • All ground transportation

Other Expenses

  • GVSU Tuition (6 credits) ($3,396)
  • Personal expenses ($600)
  • Additional meals ($600)
  • Passport fees ($150)
  • Textbooks ($100)
  • ISIC card (optional - $28)

TOTAL PROJECTED COST (Program Fee + Other Expenses): $9,752


Students may fund study abroad by using financial aid, scholarships, grants and personal funds. A study abroad adviser can help you create a funding plan.

FACULTY-LED PROGRAM GRANT (Up to $1,500): All degree-seeking students who apply to their faculty-led program by the priority deadline are automatically considered for a grant of up to $1,500 from the Padnos International Center. Students must have a current FAFSA on file to be eligible. No application required.

James F. and Virginia L. Goode Global Programs Scholarship: The purpose of the scholarship is to reduce the financial pressure on students and their families and make a Grand Valley education accessible to students from all backgrounds. This need-based scholarship will ensure that financial need does not become a barrier to intellectual and personal growth for students planning to study abroad. MyScholarships: https://gvsu.academicworks.com/opportunities/10186

Visit www.gvsu.edu/studyabroad/scholarships for additional information on grants and scholarships.


To contact the Financial Aid office, email finaid@gvsu.edu with “Study Abroad” in the Subject line. Include your G Number and Total Projected Cost of the program in the e-mail. 

Non-GVSU Students: Non-GVSU students admitted for study abroad are not eligible for Financial Aid from GVSU. Check with your home school’s study abroad and financial aid offices for details on applying for financial aid from your home school toward study abroad program costs. 

Financial Aid FAQ


Open to ALL majors. Open to students at all Japanese language ability levels.

2.0 GPA required.

GVSU is happy to extend this opportunity to Non-GVSU Students.

Already Applied

CDC Report

CDC works 24/7 to protect America from health, safety and security threats, both foreign and in the U.S. Whether diseases start at home or abroad, are chronic or acute, curable or preventable, human error or deliberate attack, CDC fights disease and supports communities and citizens to do the same.

Checkout CDC Report For Japan

US State Department Information

The first step to an international trip is to read our Traveler’s Checklist to find out things to consider before you go. Pay special attention to our safety and security information and assess for yourself the risk of traveling to a particular country or region.  Some U.S. citizens with special considerations – such as students, women, and LGBTI travelers – may face additional challenges when abroad.  If you do decide to travel, make a plan for what to do if something goes wrong overseas. 

Checkout US State Department Information For Japan

Contact Information

Spring/Summer 2020
Jeremy Robinson
Program Director
Spring/Summer 2021
Jeremy Robinson
Program Director

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