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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
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
May Term 2020 02/14/2020 ** Rolling Admission 05/07/2020 05/29/2020

** 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.
Program Description:


  • Length: 3 weeks; May 7 - May 29, 2020 (see Academic Calendar)
  • Credits: 3 credits
  • Location(s): Hikone, Shiga Prefecture, Japan (with trips scheduled to Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara, and Hiroshima)
  • Housing: JCMU Residence Hall and hotel(s)
  • Eligibility: Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5; open to students of all majors/concentrations 
  • Language of Instruction: English
  • Fees & Estimated Costs: Budget Sheet


Japan is routinely recognized as one of the safest countries in the world. This course will explore both the criminal justice system and the culture of Japan that contribute to that recognition.

Students will learn about Japanese culture and history in a classroom setting as well as through cultural events and field trips to Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara, and Hiroshima. Local trips will include Hikone Castle, Omihachiman (the sister city of Grand Rapids), and a boat ride on Lake Biwa.

Visits to various criminal justice entities (subject to availability), including policing organizations, courts, a prison, and a juvenile detention center will allow students a first-hand glimpse of the Japanese system. The class will also visit an elementary school to explore the Japanese
education system and its relation to social control and culture.

This course is open to all majors, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The course is taught in English. No Japanese langugage skills are required.

Students will have housing in the JCMU Residence Hall apartments, which provide comfortable accommodations and access to amenities both on campus and in the local community. Bicycles are provided to all participants to allow them easier access to all of the city. Nearby Hikone station provides affordable and convenient access to many other cities and sites in the region.


Naoki Kanaboshi (
Associate Professor, School of Criminal Justice
Grand Valley State University

John Walsh (
Associate Professor, School of Criminal Justice
Grand Valley State University

Temple festivalWith younger Japanese studentsIn front of Hikone CastleBusy Japanese shopping center