Reischauer Scholars Program

Reischauer Scholars Program

Application period closed

The application period for the spring 2024 course is closed. 
The application period for the spring 2025 course will open in September 2024.

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The Reischauer Scholars Program (RSP) is an online course for high school students sponsored by the Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education and the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI). Named in honor of former Ambassador to Japan Edwin O. Reischauer, the RSP annually selects 25–30 exceptional high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors from throughout the United States to engage in an intensive study of Japan. Selected students participate in the online course on Japan from February to June of each year.

Established in 2003, the RSP provides students with a broad overview of Japanese history, literature, religion, art, politics, economics, and contemporary society, with a special focus on the U.S.–Japan relationship. Ambassadors, top scholars, and experts throughout the United States and Japan provide online lectures and engage students in live discussion sessions. RSP students will interact with the Japanese high school students of the Stanford e-Japan Program, deepening their mutual cross-cultural understanding and broadening their global perspectives. Students also complete readings and weekly assignments, with the coursework culminating in an independent research project. Final research projects are printed in journal format, and students are also required to lead two presentations on Japan at their schools or in their local communities. Students who successfully complete the course will earn Stanford Continuing Studies Program (CSP) credit and a Certificate of Completion from SPICE, Stanford University.

Selected students will participate in 10 "virtual classes" via the Internet between February and June. Students should expect to allot 5–7 hours per week to complete the lectures, discussions, readings, and assignments. Since this is a distance-learning course, however, students can structure most of the work around their individual schedules. Although intensive, the RSP will equip participants with a rare degree of expertise about Japan that may have a significant impact on their choice of study and future career. Students do not need to know the Japanese language to participate in this course.

For more information, please see the Frequently Asked Questions or e-mail Naomi Funahashi, Reischauer Scholars Program Manager and Instructor, at


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Student testimonials:

"RSP was the catalyst to my interest in Japan and Japanese culture. I really enjoyed discussing the content with my peers—they are amazing and talented individuals who offered so many new perspectives that helped me dive into the course material. RSP was a truly fulfilling course and I recommend it to anyone who wishes to broaden their outlook on the world."

– Ankita Devasia, Nashua, NH


"The Reischauer Scholars Program offers insight into Japanese history and culture in a way that no other high school class can do. The quality of resources and lectures provided by the RSP are outstanding and have inspired me to pursue a career in U.S.–Japan relations."

– Evan Wright, Greenwood, IN


"What surprised me most about the Reischauer Scholars Program was the impressive diversity of backgrounds from which my peers came. I found that my understanding of Japan's nuances was greatly enhanced by the discussions I had with fellow students, who were equally passionate and incredibly brilliant, often addressing points that I wouldn't have otherwise considered."

– Nina Yamada, Elk Grove, CA


RSP in the News

Fellowship Coordinator