Centre-in-Japan

October 2014 – January 2015


Japan Osaka-jo ("Osaka Castle"), photographed by Kayla Morris '15

Japan Centre-in-Japan 2013 students

Japan Laura French '09 (who captured the photo above) was one of
several students to attend a sumo wrestling tournament while
studying abroad in Yamaguchi.

The Centre-in-Japan program is housed at Yamaguchi Prefectural University, a small university in the Western ancient capital of the Ouchi culture. In this city of temples and pagodas is the famous 1442 Rurikoji temple. Nearby are the restorative baths of the ancient Yuda Hot Springs. Centre students who have participated in the last 13 years have been extraordinarily pleased with the truly global experience they have had in this unique program, and many returned to Japan after graduating from Centre.

Eligibility. This program is open to all Centre students. The exchange may be of particular interest to students interested in international relations, history, government, anthropology/sociology, economics, or philosophy. Students who will have studied at least a year of Japanese will be given strong preference for this program, but students who have not studied Japanese will be considered.

Program dates.The program begins at the very end of September and runs through most of January. Students fly back in time for a brief rest before the start of spring term.

Courses. Except for the Japanese language class and some non-credit "cultural experiences" such as Calligraphy, Judo, Pottery, and Japanese Tea Ceremony, all classes are taught in English. Classes recently offered include "International Relations," "Zen Philosophy and Zen Culture in Japan," "Politics of Japan," "History of US-Japan Relations," "International Economics and Japanese Society," "Japan Through its Literature, History, and Art," "A Cultural Comparison between the U.S. and Japan," "Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages," and "Moral Education in Japan and China."

Cost. The cost is the same as studying in Danville, with the exception of a $375 non-refundable deposit/surcharge and a portion of the airfare. This amount includes a $15 carbon mitigation fee, but does not include the $20 cost of the required Travel Clinic that all Centre students going abroad must attend. Centre subsidizes the airfare for this program so that students going on it pay no more than if they were studying in Mexico or England. In addition, students with low EFC's (Expected Families Contributions) and large "gaps" may qualify for additional help from the Davidson Fund.

Apply. Application and faculty recommendation forms may be picked up at one of the campus-wide informational meetings on November 19, November 25, or January 8—or on the bookshelf in the Davidson Room of Old Carnegie. Turn in your completed application at the study abroad office no later than noon on February 6. Students who are selected must pay the non-refundable $375 deposit/surcharge to the Cashier's Office in Boles Hall by March 4 to hold their spot in the program.

Statement about Grades Abroad. The grades that Centre students studying abroad have received in the past have been consistent with, or even a bit higher than, grades received on campus. Nevertheless, we want to make certain that you understand from the outset that the courses you take abroad will not necessarily be taught or evaluated as they would be at Centre. In the past, some abroad students have complained—after the fact—that it was unclear how their work was being evaluated, that they received little or no feedback of their progress from the professors, that they were unfairly competing with more advanced students, that they didn't receive their grades until months after they returned, etc. We will, of course, do what we can to advise you on courses you take, but finally you are responsible for those choices, and you must live with the results. The faculty committee on curriculum and academic standards will almost certainly not agree to change an abroad grade because you believe it is too low.

A Note on Semester-long Centre Programs. Students may only study abroad on a semester-long Centre program once, though they may participate in as many CentreTerm and/or summer programs as they wish.

Medical Insurance. Students studying abroad through any Centre program receive travel and accident insurance at no additional cost. Centre's Study Abroad Insurance, while provided through EIIA (Educational & Institutional Insurance Administrators), is administered through AIG Assist. Every student studying abroad with Centre College receives an AIG Assist contact and information card. Each has the Centre insurance policy number, which is the only information needed to receive services. The categories of coverage provided are accident and sickness ($100,000 limit with a $250 deductible); emergency medical evacuation and emergency family travel ($100,000 limit); accidental death and disability ($200,000 limit); and repatriation of remains ($100,000 limit). For specific questions, please contact the International Programs office at 859.238.5285 or leigh.cocanougher@centre.edu.

Book Air Tickets Early to Save Money. Students in the past have generally been able to find economical round-trip air tickets. Some have found studentuniverse.com, statravel.com, or hipmunk.com helpful sites. Book early for the lowest prices.

Pre-Departure Training. Students selected will attend pre-departure meetings in the spring to prepare for living and studying in another culture. Students will also attend a mandatory travel medicine clinic and a mandatory meeting on safety and security before leaving for Yamaguchi.

Psychotropic Medication and Counseling. The kind of counseling and support services available on campus are not available abroad. Because any significant life transition can exacerbate and complicate already existing mental health issues, we encourage students who are currently on psychotropic medication and/or have been in mental health counseling to first consider participating in the three-week Summer Strasbourg program or a CentreTerm course abroad if they are fully confident they can do so without difficulty. Whenever they study abroad, those students are urged to meet with a Centre Student Assistance Program counselor prior to their leaving to develop a support plan for their time abroad.

Pre-Registration/Convocation Credits. While in Yamaguchi, you pre-register for future courses via e-mail with your regular academic advisor. You will automatically be credited with six convocation credits during your term abroad.

Passport. If you do not currently have a passport that will remain valid for at least six months after your return, begin the process of obtaining one as soon as you are selected. In the recent past, some students have waited three months to receive a passport, even though the passport agency has stated that it will take six to eight weeks. Do it now!


To see photos from past Centre-in-Japan experiences, click here.