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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Hikone, Japan
  • Program Terms: May Term
  • Program Sponsor: Japan Center for Michigan Universities 
  • Budget Sheets: May Term
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
May Term 2018 02/23/2018
Rolling Admission 05/07/2018 05/26/2018
NOTE: The original application deadline of 2/9/2018 has been extended to allow new applications to be submitted for consideration on a space-available basis. Applications submitted after 2/9/2018 will be reviewed in the order they are received until 2/23/2018 or until the program reaches capacity. To receive optimal consideration, be sure to complete applications as soon as possible. Start and end dates are subject to change. Any changes made to the dates will be communicated to all applicants as they occur.

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.

Indicates that deadline has passed
Program Description:

Mindful banner


Explore Japanese mindfulness on this short experiential-focused program! 



Length: 2 weeks (Mid-May through the end of May)

Credits: 3

Location: Shiga Prefecture, Japan

Housing: JCMU Residence Hall

Eligibility: Minimum 2.5 GPA. Open to college students of all majors.

Language of instruction: English

Program fees: Mindful Leadership budget sheet



Summary: Travel to Japan and discover an interdisciplinary perspective for mindful leadership drawing from mindfulness research in psychology, creativity and aesthetics for an engaged living with a commitment to social justice and transformation. The course draws from East Asian Buddhist contemplative practices and three notions of Japanese aesthetics (Mono no aware, Wabi-sabi and Ma), providing a strong foundational understanding of mindfulness from a cultural and Humanities perspective.

Learning in the Field: As an an experiential learning course abroad, the instructor will provide you with ample opportunities to connect directly with the Japanese mindset and creative arts. Building on these practices, you will explore how mindfulness practices can enable them to be more authentic, open and engaged servant leaders who can lead with compassion, generosity and cultural humility.

Field trips & other benefits: You will be provided with your own bike to use while on the program. In addition, you will have the chance to go on a field excursion with your classmates! The location & date of the excursion are subject to change on a yearly basis, but past students have been taken to Kyoto, Nara, Uji, and more.

Course objectives:
  1. To gain knowledge about empirical research on mindfulness including scholarship on critical mindfulness;
  2. To provide an overview of theoretical and methodological advances in the psychological study of mindfulness and its effectiveness in improving psychological and physical well-being, creativity and mindful leadership;
  3. To learn about current research on mindful leadership while learning several mindfulness practices with a specific goal to cultivating interconnectedness;
  4. To have an amazing, transformative experience in a foreign country
Program Leader: Ram Mahalingam is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan. Over the past six years, he has been conducting research on mindfulness and social justice, drawing upon his knowledge of the Humanities, religion, cultural studies, and more. A longtime scholar in both India and the U.S., Dr. Mahalingam has received four teaching awards at the college and national level including the prestigious John Dewey Award in recognition of his commitment to undergraduate education. 


Want to learn what past students have said about their time in Hikone? Or do you want to read about what our recent students have been up to? Then visit the Alumni Testimonials and Events sections of the JCMU Official Blog!

With a Japanese familyLearning to play the kotoWearing kimonoJapanese garden behind JCMU

This program is currently not accepting applications.