Spring 2024 Session of Stanford e-Japan Now Underway

Stanford e-Japan is made possible by the Yanai Tadashi Foundation.
buildings on Stanford University campus Main Quad with Hoover Tower in background; photo credit Linda A. Cicero / Stanford News Service.

The Stanford University Scholars Program for Japanese High School Students or “Stanford e-Japan” is an online course sponsored by the Yanai Tadashi Foundation and the Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education (SPICE), Stanford University. This online course teaches Japanese high school students about U.S. society and underscores the importance of U.S.–Japan relations. Through Stanford e-Japan, ambassadors, top scholars, and experts throughout the United States provide web-based lectures and engage Japanese high school students in live discussion sessions called “virtual classes.” Stanford e-Japan is now in its 10th year and about to begin its 18th session overall.

In mid-January 2024, spring session instructor Waka Takahashi Brown notified 28 high school students across Japan of their acceptance to the Spring 2024 Stanford e-Japan Program. The online course officially began on Monday, February 12, 2024, and runs until June 30, 2024. It includes students representing Akita, Chiba, Gifu, Hiroshima, Hokkaido, Hyogo, Ibaraki, Ishikawa, Kanagawa, Kyoto, Nagano, Okayama, Osaka, Saitama, and Tokyo. In addition to a diverse geographical representation within Japan, the students themselves bring a diverse set of experiences to the program, many having lived overseas in places such as Bangladesh, Canada, India, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, and the United States.

The selected Stanford e-Japan high school students will listen to lectures by renowned experts in the field including Stanford Professors Clayborne Carson, Kathryn Gin Lum, Kenji Kushida, and David Labaree on topics such as “Civil and Human Rights: The Martin Luther King, Jr. Legacy,” “Religion in the U.S.,” “Silicon Valley and Entrepreneurship,” and “American Education as a Balancing Act.” Live virtual classes include guest speakers such as Ms. Suzanne Basalla (U.S.-Japan Council), Mr. Vincent Flores (EducationUSA), and Mr. Tameyasu Anayama (Aamilia, LLC). The spring session also includes two virtual classes with the U.S. high school students in the Reischauer Scholars Program.

In addition to weekly lectures, assignments, discussion board posts, a group project, and virtual classes, the program participants will complete a final research paper on a topic concerning U.S. society or the U.S.–Japan relationship. All students participate in the program for free, thanks to the generous support of the Yanai Tadashi Foundation.

Many Stanford e-Japan students in the current cohort (as well as past ones) have mentioned their desire to study in the United States. The Stanford e-Japan Program equips many students with the motivation and confidence to do so, in addition to many of the skills they will need to study at U.S. universities and colleges.

“This cohort seems eager and ready to take advantage of all the Stanford e-Japan Program has to offer,” Brown said. “I’m hopeful that they will form friendships and connections that will last well beyond the program itself.”

Stanford e-Japan is one of several online courses for high school students offered by SPICE, including the Reischauer Scholars Program, the China Scholars Program, the Sejong Korea Scholars Program, Stanford e-China, as well as numerous local student programs in Japan. For more information about Stanford e-Japan, please visit stanfordejapan.org

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