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Applications opened today for the China Scholars Program (CSP), Sejong Korea Scholars Program (SKSP), and Reischauer Scholars Program (RSP) on Japan—three intensive online courses offered to high school students across the United States by SPICE, Stanford University. All three applications can now be viewed at https://spicestanford.smapply.io/. Interested students must submit their completed application (including an essay and letter of recommendation) by the October 31, 2022 deadline.

All three online courses are currently accepting applications for the Spring 2023 term, which will begin in February and run through June. Designed as college-level introductions to East Asia, these academically rigorous courses offer high school students the unique opportunity to engage in a guided study of China, Korea, or Japan directly with leading scholars, former diplomats, and other experts from Stanford and beyond.

Rising high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors in the United States are eligible to apply to any of the three online courses. Students who are interested in more than one program can apply to two or three and rank their preferences on their applications; those who are accepted into multiple programs will be invited to enroll in their highest-preference course. High school students with a strong interest in East Asia and/or international relations are especially encouraged to apply.

“Some students who enroll in our online courses already have a solid foundation in East Asia, but many do not,” says Dr. Tanya Lee, instructor of the China Scholars Program. “What’s important is that they come with a curious mind and a willingness to work hard. We’re fortunate to be able to connect high school students with all kinds of scholars with expertise in China, Korea, and Japan, and we want our students to make the most of this opportunity.”

For more information on a specific online course, please refer to its individual webpage at chinascholars.org, sejongscholars.org, or reischauerscholars.org. The CSP, SKSP, and RSP are part of SPICE’s online student programs.


To be notified when the next application period opens, join our email list and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Evan Wright (front row, third from the right), Adriana Reinecke, RSP 2009 (first row, third from the left), and Monica, RSP 2013 (second row, third from the right) with the Reischauer Center staff in Mt. Vernon
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The Reischauer Legacy: How the RSP Inspired Me to Dedicate My Life to U.S.–Japan Relations

The following reflection is a guest post written by Evan Wright, an alumnus of the Reischauer Scholars Program.
The Reischauer Legacy: How the RSP Inspired Me to Dedicate My Life to U.S.–Japan Relations
Michelle Murcia at Gyeongbokgung Palace, South Korea
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Academic Exploration: My Studies in the Sejong Korea Scholars Program and Korean Peninsula

The following reflection is a guest post written by Michelle Murcia, an alumna of the 2021 Sejong Korea Scholars Program.
Academic Exploration: My Studies in the Sejong Korea Scholars Program and Korean Peninsula
Santiago Calderon at Harvard University for debate tournament
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How SPICE’s China Scholars Program Accelerated My Love for International Relations

The following reflection is a guest post written by Santiago Calderon, an alumnus of the China Scholars Program, which is currently accepting applications for the Fall 2021 course.
How SPICE’s China Scholars Program Accelerated My Love for International Relations
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Subtitle: Students with a strong interest in East Asia or international relations are encouraged to apply. Applications are due October 31.

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Sandi Khine
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As schools across the U.S. began to close due to COVID-19 in mid-March, I was in the unique position of transitioning into online classes while already having had some experience taking fully online classes. The year before, I had completed SPICE’s Reischauer Scholars Program (RSP), an intensive online course focusing on Japanese culture, history, and U.S.–Japan relations; participating in the Sejong Korea Scholars Program (SKSP), an equivalent program, I thought, would be a similar experience.

Yet, being part of the SKSP in the midst of a pandemic framed the way I participated in and learned from the class. As the course went on, we began each Virtual Classroom with a brief discussion on COVID-19, talking amongst ourselves how we were personally doing, and how Korea was handling it as compared to the U.S. We were encouraged to read local news in Korea to learn about COVID-19, and we brought our learnings to each discussion with renewed vigor. There’s a strange and harrowing feeling you get when analyzing the course of a virus in your home country and across the Pacific—an implicit understanding that this isn’t just a research text to pore over, but an unprecedented moment in history we’re living through. 

But back to the beginning. After participating in the RSP, I realized how essential it is to analyze stories from all facets.

In my school, I’d only learned from Western perspectives; RSP and SKSP were golden opportunities to more comprehensively learn the nuances of global culture and history.
Sandi Khine

RSP first introduced me to the concept that “history is told from the winner’s perspective,” and SKSP gave me the opportunity to delve deeply into that. I became intrigued with how history is taught and wanted to understand the “other” sides of stories I learned about in my textbooks. Weeks later, when we learned about the Japanese exploitation of Korean comfort women during World War II, I knew that learning about these issues from one side would simply not be enough to fully comprehend parts of history such as these. The way I learn history directly impacts how I view society and the relationships between groups of people.

Hence, each of the modules helped me craft a multifaceted perspective of Korea and U.S.–Korea relations. The lessons and lectures allowed me to understand and re-interpret modern and historical issues in a global context. From Shamanism’s evolving role in Korean society, to Japanese colonial rule in Korea, to the social impacts of the Miracle on the Han River, to class and socioeconomic strata in Korean education systems, I dove into a plethora of topics through readings, lectures, and class discussions. As a high school student, I never believed I would have the honor of learning from distinguished scholars and experts, but SKSP introduced me to a variety of academics with clear passions for Korean history and culture. My learning extended beyond lectures: in discussion boards, I learned from my classmates, who shared their diverse perspectives and experiences and fostered an inclusive and challenging learning environment. We were given the chance to analyze material on our own through readings and assignments, but it was in these virtual interactions with my peers that I discovered the most. The open and constructive group that Dr. Jang and Mr. Edman facilitated was one where we could respectfully engage with one another on any topic while acknowledging at the end of the day the friendships and bonds we’d made. Thus, I paired my self-led education from SPICE with that of my public schooling and constructed a greater comprehensive understanding of the world.  

However, it was the Korean War and North Korea units that I believe played the greatest role in not only my intellectual development, but also my personal and political growth. These two units coalesced in my final research paper project, in which I wrote about the critical role of student activism in South Korean democratization. During my research and readings, I analyzed how the March First Movement set the stage for South Korean protest culture and democratization. I recognized that of the two factions of activists post March First, I might have been in the more radical faction, the one that ended up becoming North Korea. This realization, combined with the readings and lectures from the North Korea unit, completely changed my view of geopolitics in Korea. I learned about the U.S.’s role in the Korean War, and subsequently the Western portrayal of North Korea as a rogue, renegade state. I wondered, how much are we to speak about propaganda when students like me are taught lessons that shield Western imperialism with saviorism and American exceptionalism?

SKSP is not simply a fleeting online course with a broad overview of Korea, but an unparalleled opportunity to uncover Korea on an academic level few other high school students have. I hadn’t expected to undergo a personal and political reckoning within myself, but it is because of this growth that I am beyond grateful for SKSP, Dr. Jang and Mr. Edman’s instruction and advising, and all of my peers’ questions and discussions. Since then, I haven’t ceased to continue kindling my interest in Korean history and politics, questioning previously held beliefs, and broadening my worldview. And it is especially during a time like this—a global movement of Black Lives Matter, a local movement to change my high school’s Indigenous emblem, and everything in between, all within the context of a pandemic—that it is so crucial for me to critically analyze what I’ve been taught, and to keep learning as much as I can. In SKSP, I’ve developed the skills necessary to do so. It’s the “other sides” of stories, namely non-Western and non-white, that I am committed to studying, since understanding the nuances of the past can help guide us into a more equitable future.

Next fall, I begin at Stanford, hopefully on campus—it feels like coming full circle, having the privilege to attend college in an institution that first allowed me to foster a genuine love for learning. Now, while many of my friends begin their college careers, I have chosen to take a gap year with the U.S. Department of State’s National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y), a rigorous and competitive academic scholarship to study a critical language abroad. As of August, the in-country program has been pushed back to 2021 due to COVID-19, but I hope to find myself in Seoul in a few months. With everything ahead of me, I know SKSP is only the beginning, as I hope to continue bridging my education to the world.

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Alumni of the Reischauer Scholars Program and Sejong Korean Scholars Program gather with SPICE staff
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Shinnenkai: A New Year Gathering

Shinnenkai: A New Year Gathering
High school student honorees with Japanese Consul General at Stanford Japan Day
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Honoring High School Students from Japan and the United States: A Glow for Global Peace

Honoring High School Students from Japan and the United States: A Glow for Global Peace
Students in Stanford’s SKSP online course learn about Korea from many angles, including both traditional and contemporary Korean culture.
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The Largest Cohort of High School Students Successfully Completes the SKSP Online Course on Korea at Stanford

The Largest Cohort of High School Students Successfully Completes the SKSP Online Course on Korea at Stanford
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The following reflection is a guest post written by Sandi Khine, an alumna of the Reischauer Scholars Program and the Sejong Korea Scholars Program, which are currently accepting applications for the 2021 courses.

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Naomi Funahashi
Naomi Funahashi
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On a recent Friday afternoon at Stanford, the weather reminded me of some crisp yet clear winter days in Japan. The sun brightly lit the Falcon Lounge on the 5th floor of Encina Hall as six alumni from the 2014 to 2018 Reischauer Scholars Program (RSP) and Sejong Korean Scholars Program (SKSP) cohorts gathered to celebrate the new year. This annual shinnenkai (literally, “new year gathering,” in Japanese) luncheon offers alumni of SPICE’s pre-collegiate online courses to meet or reconnect over lively conversation and delicious food. For the SPICE instructors, the shinnenkai is often the first time to meet alumni in person.

The RSP is an online course on Japan and U.S.–Japan relations that is offered to U.S. high school students each spring, and will welcome its seventeenth cohort in a few weeks. The SKSP is preparing for its eighth cohort, and offers an intensive online study of Korea and U.S.–Korea relations to U.S. high school students. SPICE also offers a third online course to U.S. high school students on China and U.S.–China relations, the China Scholars Program. The CSP is preparing for its sixth cohort.

One of the attendees, James Noh (RSP ‘16, Stanford University ‘22), reflected on his RSP experience following the shinnenkai: “My RSP experience not only nurtured my interest in East Asia, but also made me realize that I wanted to incorporate my interest in East Asia into both my academic and professional careers. Looking back, I think participating in RSP played an important role in influencing my decision to take a gap year to study Mandarin in China after high school and major in international relations with a focus on East Asia.” During the shinnenkai, it was interesting to hear other alumni share thoughts on how their experiences in the RSP and SKSP helped to prepare them for and also shape their college life. Comments ranged from “informing choices” like class or major selection to “honing skills” like writing research papers.

Through the many years in which SPICE has engaged U.S. high school students in these intensive online courses, we have been fortunate to work with many exceptional students such as James. As the instructor of the RSP, I especially treasure the face-to-face opportunities to meet with alumni of these courses. These opportunities are rare treats given that our courses take place entirely online. The annual shinnenkai is truly a highlight of my year.


To stay informed of SPICE-related news, join our email list and follow SPICE on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


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Applications open today for the China Scholars Program (CSP), Sejong Korean Scholars Program (SKSP), and Reischauer Scholars Program (RSP) on Japan—three intensive online courses offered by SPICE, Stanford University, to high school students across the United States. All three applications can now be viewed at https://spicestanford.smapply.io/. Interested students must submit their completed application (including an essay and letter of recommendation) by the deadlines listed below.

 

Spring 2020 Online Course Application Deadlines

China Scholars Program: October 15, 2019
Sejong Korean Scholars Program: October 15, 2019
Reischauer Scholars Program: October 15, 2019

 

All three online courses are currently accepting applications for the Spring 2020 term, which will begin in February and run through June. Designed as college-level introductions to East Asia, these academically rigorous courses present high school students the unique opportunity to engage in a guided study of China, Korea, or Japan directly with leading scholars, former diplomats, and other experts from Stanford and beyond. High school students with a strong interest in East Asia and/or international relations are especially encouraged to apply.

“Our students always come hungry to learn,” says Dr. Tanya Lee, instructor of the China Scholars Program. “The ones who choose to apply to these kinds of online courses are typically looking for an academic challenge beyond what their normal school can offer. We’re incredibly fortunate to have Stanford faculty conducting world-class research on Korea, Japan, and China willing to share their knowledge directly with our students.”

Rising high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors in the United States are eligible to apply to any of the three programs. Students who are interested in more than one program can apply to two or three and rank their preferences on their applications; those who are accepted into multiple programs will be invited to enroll in their highest-preference course.

For more information on a specific course, please refer to its individual webpage at chinascholars.org, sejongscholars.org, or reischauerscholars.org.

9/9/19 EDIT: Application deadlines updated. The deadlines for the SKSP and RSP were previously October 4, 2019. All three application deadlines are now October 15, 2019.


The RSP, SKSP, and CSP are SPICE’s online courses for high school students. In addition, we offer online courses for high school students in Japan (Stanford e-Japan) and China (Stanford e-China). To be notified when the next application period opens, join our email list or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


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Last week, 23 educators from across North America gathered at Stanford University for the 2019 East Asia Summer Institute for High School Teachers, a teacher professional development seminar offered by SPICE in partnership with the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia. Over three days of rich content lectures, discussion, and experiential learning, institute participants deepened their background knowledge on Asia and began to rethink and revamp their curriculum plans for the coming school year.

This year’s participants came from as far away as Concord, New Hampshire and Vancouver, Canada, although most attendees were high school teachers in the San Francisco Bay Area. They represented a wide range of teaching subjects, from history and language arts to statistics and genocide studies, but all sought to strengthen their teaching through a clearer, more nuanced understanding of Asia, U.S.–Asia relations, and the Asian American experience—the three main areas explored in this year’s summer institute.

Participant Hellie Mateo at the 2019 East Asia Summer Institute for High School Teachers
Participant Hellie Mateo poses with a book she made by hand using traditional Japanese book-binding methods.
The institute’s guest speakers came from similarly diverse backgrounds, being scholars, artists, authors, and Stanford University professors with expertise on a specific aspect of Asia, U.S.–Asia relations, or the Asian American experience. Interwoven between their captivating content lectures were classroom-focused lesson demonstrations, hands-on activities, and pedagogy discussions facilitated by SPICE curriculum designers. “We make sure we balance subject-matter content with practical application in all of our teacher professional development seminars,” notes SPICE Director Dr. Gary Mukai. “That’s why we focus so much time and energy on pedagogy and lesson demonstrations. We want to help high school teachers translate their newfound knowledge directly into the classroom.”

To that end, summer institute participants each receive several free books, films, and SPICE lesson plans to help them bring Asia alive for their students. They also receive a stipend and become eligible for three optional units of credit from Stanford Continuing Studies.

“Being in the Bay Area—and particularly at Stanford University—we have access to such incredible experts on these subjects,” says institute coordinator and facilitator Naomi Funahashi. “Our job is to connect those experts with teachers in a way that supports teacher needs. That’s our goal for this summer institute.”

Although the high school teachers have now returned home from Stanford campus, their work is not done. They will now use the content they learned at the summer institute to create original lesson plans to incorporate into their own practice. When they reconvene for a final online session in late July / early August, they will share their lesson plans with each other, and each teacher will walk away with 22 brand new lesson plans designed by their colleagues. “We can’t wait to see what kinds of innovative lessons our teachers will come up with!” says Funahashi. “And we can’t wait to see how they incorporate these new lessons into their plans for the next school year.”

To view photos from the summer institute and read a more comprehensive recap what happened, please see the SPICE Facebook page.


In addition to our high school institute, in most years SPICE also offers the East Asia Summer Institute for Middle School Teachers. To be notified when the next middle school and/or high school institute application period opens, join our email list or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


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HyoJung Jang
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This year, the Sejong Korean Scholars Program (SKSP) concluded its sixth year with its largest cohort of 22 students from across the United States. The SKSP is an intensive online course offered by the Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education (SPICE) at Stanford University for exceptional U.S. high school students who want to engage in an in-depth study of Korea, exploring its history, religion, culture, and relationship with the United States. Students who successfully complete the course earn credit from the Stanford Continuing Studies Program and a Certificate of Completion from SPICE, Stanford University.

Each year from March to June, students in the SKSP online course carry out rigorous coursework that consists of weekly readings, online lectures, assignments, discussion posts, and “virtual classroom” video conferencing sessions, where students engage in live discussion with each other and a guest speaker who is an expert-scholar on the topic of the week. As their culminating final project, students write independent research papers which are printed in journal format at the conclusion of the course.

The SKSP online course offers a unique opportunity for high school students to study Korea and U.S.–Korean relations in a college-level-type course that draws on the wealth of expertise and scholarship on Korean Studies at Stanford University. Top scholars, experts, and former diplomats at Stanford University as well as other universities in the United States provide thematically organized online lectures. The themes for each week include traditional Korean culture, religion, colonial history, the Korean War, post-war recovery, North Korea, modern South Korean society and its educational system, and Korea’s transnationalism. In addition to the recorded online lectures, the guest speakers for the weekly virtual classroom sessions engage in discussions with students and provide answers to their questions.

The co-instructors for the course, as well as guest speakers, often note the quality and maturity of students’ thoughtful insights and questions. Co-instructor HyoJung Jang has noted that “the talented and engaged high school students who participate in the SKSP online course bring their intellectual curiosity, critical thinking skills, and enthusiasm for learning about Korea and its popular culture. On top of their full academic load at their respective high schools across the country, these students go above and beyond to commit to SKSP’s demanding coursework and participate fully in the course as Korea scholars-in-training.”

“Over the past four months, our students have formed a community where they actively engage in intellectual discussions with each other—exchanging their ideas, thoughts, reflections, experiences, and perspectives on various topics,” commented co-instructor Jonas Edman. “For instance, some students contributed their own interpretations and explanations for the stark difference between the Taiwanese colonial experience and memory of Japanese rule and that of Korea. When discussing the issue of ‘comfort women’ during Japanese colonial rule in Korea, one student shared a personal story about his great-great-grandmother’s similarly painful experience under foreign rule in Eastern Europe and powerfully advocated for the importance of justice. Other students shared about their assessments of the roles of the U.S. and South Korean leaders—in addition to the roles played by North Korea, China, and Russia—on the outbreak of the Korean War and its aftermath.”

Alongside their academic engagement with each other, students have also bonded over their shared interests in Korean food and popular culture, namely “K-pop, K-dramas, and K-movies.” Some students chose to write their final research papers on analyzing Korean popular culture. Other discussions on the modern Korean education system have even incorporated students’ personal observations of the education issues portrayed in a popular Korean drama. These interests are encouraged, as students are urged to creatively explore the topics most interesting to them for their final research paper.

One of the strengths of the SKSP online course is that it encourages high school students to consider different perspectives on various issues, think critically about those different perspectives, and develop their own informed opinions. Reflecting on her participation in the course, Chloee Robison, a high school student from Indiana, said, “SKSP was a unique opportunity to explore my interest in Korean history. Even though I am not of Korean heritage, I felt deeply connected to the course material, and I found the lectures to be quite informative and engaging. Coming from a region that is largely homogeneous, hearing the perspectives of diverse-minded students opened my eyes to issues and ideas that I would have otherwise been blind to. I am so grateful to everyone involved in the course, and I would recommend it to all students who wish to challenge themselves and expand their knowledge of Korean history and culture.” Chloee’s research project on Korea’s March First Movement earned first place in Indiana’s National History Day competition.

The popularity and demand for Stanford’s SKSP online course on Korea grows each year. Interested high school students are encouraged to apply early for the program. The application period is between late August and early October each year for enrollment in the online course the following year. The online application can be found on the SPICE website at sejongscholars.org.


To be notified when the next Sejong Korean Scholars Program application period opens, join our email list or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Sejong Korean Scholars Program is one of several online courses for high school students offered by SPICE, Stanford University, including the China Scholars Program, the Reischauer Scholars Program (on Japan), and the Stanford e-Japan Program.


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We are thrilled to welcome Dr. HyoJung Jang back to the SPICE team! Jang holds a Ph.D. in Educational Theory and Policy as well as in Comparative and International Education from Penn State University, and an M.A. in East Asian Studies from Stanford University. She has returned to SPICE as an instructor for the Sejong Korean Scholars Program, an intensive online course on Korea for high school students across the United States.

Prior to pursuing her doctoral studies, Jang worked at SPICE developing extensive lesson plans for high school and college classrooms. She is co-author of several East Asia-focused curriculum units, including Inter-Korean Relations: Rivalry, Reconciliation, and Reunification, China in Transition: Economic Development, Migration, and Education, and Colonial Korea in Historical Perspective.

“It’s so wonderful to be back at SPICE, where my passion for education issues was sparked,” reflects Jang. “And it’s always inspiring to work with our young Sejong Scholars. Their sharp, inquisitive minds and sincere interest in Korea make me feel optimistic about the future of U.S.–Korean relations.”

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SPICE is now accepting applications for the 2019 East Asia Summer Institute for High School Teachers. This free three-day institute is SPICE’s premier professional development opportunity for teachers, combining Stanford’s deep content expertise with SPICE’s award-winning lesson plans.

SPICE/NCTA East Asia Summer Institute for High School Teachers
July 8–10, 2019
Stanford University
Application deadline: May 6, 2019

High school teachers of social studies and language arts are especially encouraged to apply.

Participants will learn from Stanford faculty and other experts about the geography, cultures, politics, economics, history, and literature of East Asia, including a special focus on U.S.–Asia relations and the Asian diaspora in the United States. Teachers will also engage in pedagogy-focused discussions and receive training on several SPICE lesson plans on East Asia, in order to help them translate their new content knowledge to the classroom. Teachers who complete the professional development seminar will be eligible for a $250 stipend and three units of credit from Stanford Continuing Studies, and they will leave Stanford with several extensive SPICE curriculum units in hand.

This professional development opportunity will focus largely on China, Japan, and Korea. For example, last year’s speakers included Kathleen Stephens (former U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea), Peter Duus (renowned Stanford scholar of modern Japan), and Clayton Dube (Director of the USC U.S.-China Institute). The institute also featured speakers like author Chun Yu (who grew up in China’s Cultural Revolution) and Joseph Yasutake (who grew up in a Japanese American internment camp), whose rich personal stories brought history to life. SPICE staff led complementary interactive curriculum training sessions on China’s economic development, the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, South Korean pop culture, and East Asia’s “history wars.”

“Every speaker added a new perspective to historical and contemporary events,” remarked participant Kimberly Gavin. “[The] lectures enriched my knowledge base of topics, curriculum demonstrations gave me ideas for effective lessons in the classroom, small group discussions led to rich conversations about primary and secondary sources, and teacher sharing introduced me to new websites. There wasn’t anything that was done that wasn’t valuable to me… I told my administrator yesterday that this was the best conference I have been to as a teacher.”

More information is available at https://spice.fsi.stanford.edu/fellowships/ncta_for_high_school_teachers. Interested high school teachers can apply directly at https://forms.gle/Jd3PP8EowXyPkAyX9. The application deadline is May 6.

The 2019 East Asia Summer Institute for High School Teachers at Stanford University is made possible by the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia.

Stay informed of SPICE news by joining our email list or following us on Facebook and Twitter.


Please note: Due to unexpected funding reductions this year, we are only able to offer our high school institute in 2019. We hope to bring back our middle school institute next year.


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