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 6th year and 10th session overall.
On January 24, 2020, 29 high school students across Japan were notified of their acceptance to the Spring 2020 Stanford e-Japan Program. The 10th session of the online course kicks off today and runs until June 30, and will include students representing the following prefectures: Chiba, Fukuoka, Fukushima, Hiroshima, Hyogo, Ibaraki, Kanagawa, Okayama, Osaka, Saitama, Shizuoka, Tokyo, and Yamagata. 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 Myanmar, Thailand, Mexico, and the United States.
The selected Stanford e-Japan high school students will listen to lectures by renowned experts in the field including Professor Emeritus Peter Duus, Professor Kathryn Gin Lum, and Dr. Kenji Kushida (all at Stanford University) on topics such as, “The Atomic Bombings of Japan,” “The Attack on Pearl Harbor,” “Religion in the U.S.,” and “Silicon Valley and Entrepreneurship.” Live virtual classes include guest speakers such as Ms. Suzanne Basalla (Toyota Research Institute), Ms. Maiko Cagno (U.S. Consulate, Fukuoka), and Dr. Makiko Oku (Co-Founder, KiKO Japan).
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. In addition to weekly lectures, assignments, discussion board posts, 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.
“I’ve encouraged my students to seriously consider undergraduate studies in the United States and to look into opportunities like the Yanai Tadashi Foundation Scholarships,” commented Stanford e-Japan Instructor Waka Brown. “Many e-Japan alumni have gone on to study in the United States, either for their entire college experience or for shorter overseas study opportunities. A couple of them received full scholarships, thanks to The Yanai Tadashi Foundation.”
Stanford e-Japan is one of several online courses for high school students offered by SPICE, Stanford University, including the Reischauer Scholars Program, the China Scholars Program, the Sejong Korean Scholars Program, and Stanford e-China. For more information about Stanford e-Japan, please visit stanfordejapan.org.