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5 posts from October 2010


farewell dinner

On the final evening of the program we held a special farewell party for participants on a yakatabune, a Japanese-style flat boat, for a sunset dinner cruise. Students enjoyed freshly cooked tempura, a beautiful view of the Tokyo Bay area, and several entertaining rounds of karaoke. It was a great finale to a very enjoyable and successful program! 

Students chat on the upper deck of the yakatabune as we prepare to anchor near Odaiba.


student housing

CIEE summer program participants were housed in Kichijoji, an attractive area less than 30 minutes from campus on the JR Chuo Line. Kichijoji is frequently ranked as one of the most desirable residential areas in Tokyo, due to numerous shopping, dining and entertainment options near the station and its proximity to Inokashira Park.

In addition, this summer, CIEE introduced a homestay program for interested students. Several students took advantage of the opportunity to experience daily life with a Japanese family and develop their Japanese language skills through sharing meals and activities with their host families.

Inokashira Pond at Inokashira Park, a 10-minute walk from the summer program housing



All CIEE students enroll in two 3-credit courses during the summer program. The coursework is quite intensive with two, two-hour long classes daily for fifteen days (including Saturdays!).

In addition to two levels of Japanese, the non-language courses offered this year were:

Contemporary Japanese Economy; Japanese Business and Management; Japanese Theater; Survey of Japanese Religions; Contemporary Japanese Society; Japanese Art; Japanese History: Edo and Tokyo; Comparative Asian Industrial Systems; Japanese Literature and the City; Contemporary Japanese Politics; and Foundations of East Asian Culture.

Classroom scene  
 CIEE Summer 2010 students in the classroom at Sophia University


summer program activities

In addition to our overnight trip to Hakone and Kamakura during orientation, students participated in several CIEE-arranged trips including visits to see Japanese animation at the Ghibli Museum and a Buddhist art exhibition at the Nezu Museum, an evening of Japanese baseball at Tokyo Dome, and a farewell cruise on Tokyo Bay.

CIEE students could also choose to participate in nine different Sophia University-organized events. This summer’s actvities included a visit to Meiji Shrine, a bus tour of Tokyo, a Taiko drumming workshop, tea ceremony, flower arrangement, Rakugo storytelling, and Kabuki, Noh and Kyogen performances.

 Baseball game
Students watch the Tokyo Giants challenge thier Osaka rivals, the Hanshin Tigers.


welcome to japan

CIEE students arrived one week prior to the start of Sophia University’s Summer Session in Asian Studies, and attended CIEE’s comprehensive orientation program. Orientation sessions included information on academics, survival Japanese, program policies, safety, and cultural adjustment.

As part of orientation, CIEE arranged for an overnight excursion to Hakone and Kamakura, historic cities southwest of Tokyo. In Hakone, students explored a volcanic valley, visited the Open-Air Museum and cruised across Lake Ashi. The following day they made a visit to Kenchoji, a Zen temple in North Kamakura, before venturing to Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine and the famous Kamakura Daibutsu (Japan’s largest outdoor Buddha).

Summer program participants enjoyed soaking their tired feet in the ashiyu hot springs at the Hakone Open Air Museum.


 Owakudani hakone
Students took the Hakone Ropeway to Owakudani, where they explored the active volcanic zone.


At Tsurugaoka Hachimangu in Kamakura, students learned the Japanese purification ritual of rinsing one's hands before entering a Shinto Shrine.