The sociology, criminal justice and anthropology department is integrating a new study abroad program starting summer 2009 headed by professors Patrick Kinkade, chairman of the sociology, criminal justice and anthropology department and Keith Whitworth, professor of sociology.
During the two-week trip students will travel to Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara, Hiroshima, the Japanese Alps and more, Kinkade said.
The program offers a prerequisite class in the spring called Heritage, Tradition and Globalization. The class will include field trips to temples, restaurants and gardens and will teach students about Japanese history and cultural traditions.
Guest speakers and films will also be integrated into the class to teach students Japanese phrases to help them communicate while they are abroad, which will help make their study abroad experience have more meaning, Whitworth said.
Kinkade said the program is open to anyone who is looking to learn about Japan from a historical and social context.
While abroad, a student will earn six credit hours from two 3000-level classes offered in Japan called Crime, Criminal Justice and Social Problems and Technology and Sustainability.
The price of the trip, which does not include airfare and meals, is $4,500 along with the additional $935 per credit hour. The university is supporting the program by granting each student with $1130, Kinkade said. He said the estimated price of the trip to Japan will be around $10,000.
Kinkade said students will be able to travel to other cities in their free time and are encouraged to stay longer than two weeks to take in the full culture.
“Japan can be a great learning as well as a spiritual experience for students,” he said. “They will come back changed people.”
Kinkade said Japan has a different criminal justice system than the United States, noting it is important for students to learn these differences. He said some of the differences include the fact that Japan just changed their justice system to have jury trials and that Japanese prisoners have fewer rights, but the street crime rate is lower there than the United States.
Sustainability and how the Japanese think about the future of their cities from an environmental viewpoint is also of high interest, he said.
“It has the glitz and glamour of New York, but it has its own unique cultural experience,” Whitworth said.