VMI is pleased to announce the Summer 2013 program in Ishikawa, Japan. Conducted in partnership with the Ishikawa Japanese Studies Center, this program will provide a unique immersion opportunity for students of Japanese language and culture. 

Dates:  May 23 - June 22, 2013

Costs:  $5000 (subject to BOV approval), which includes tuition, books, room and board, insurance, and several excursions and cultural events. It does not include the cost of roundtrip international airfare, lunches and incidentals.  After arrival, all participants will receive a stipend of 25,000 yen (about $270) from the local government in Kanazawa.

Program Director  

The Program Director is Ms. Fumiko Yamagami Snidow, a native of Japan, who has been teaching Japanese at VMI since August of 1999. She received her BA in English from Miyagi Gakuin University in Sendai, Japan, in 1969, another BA in Western History from Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan, in 1984. She received her Master of Science degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Radford University in 1993. She has lived in Tokyo for many years, and has escorted students to Japan for study abroad programs on several occasions.


Any current student in good standing with an accredited university is eligible to apply. VMI students need only submit an application. Applicants from other universities should include a faculty letter of recommendation, an official transcript, and a short essay outlining the applicant's personal and academic goals for the program, along with the application. Application must be received no later than 1 March 2013.

Room and Board 

Students will be placed in homes with Japanese families. Living with families is an enriching and unforgettable experience and a wonderful way of fully participating in Japanese culture. Students receive breakfast and dinner daily, seven days a week.  

General Overview 

The program will be based in Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan. It will consist of five weeks of academic work. The academic work will be augmented by numerous excursions and cultural events. 

Academic and Cultural Program 

The academic program will consist of 84 contact hours of Japanese language instruction at the 100, 200 300, or 400 level. Students who successfully complete the course of instruction will earn six credit hours in Japanese language. The Japanese Studies Center organizes a variety of field trips as an integral part of its program.

Host Institution 

Ishikawa Japanese Studies Center is the name of the host institution and is a foundation operated by Ishikawa Prefecture, and is located in Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture. Formerly established as Ishikawa Prefecture International Culture Exchange Center in 1987, the Institution has accepted a number of foreign students from all over the world and offered Japanese language and culture instruction to them while the students stay with Japanese host families.  

Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan 

Ishikawa Prefecture is located near the center of Japan, with the Noto Peninsula extending into the Japan Sea. Around 20 million visitors annually visit the area, which is rich in natural beauty, hot springs, local original cuisine and Japanese traditional culture. Kanazawa, which is the capital of Ishikawa Prefecture and the place where the host institution is located, was a feudal castle town and many historic buildings and cultural assets still remain there and bring together the best of old and new. The city boasts many places of historic and aesthetic interests, such as Kenrokuen, known as one of the three most beautiful gardens in Japan, museums, shrines, temples, Samurai houses, old geisha district, Kutani-yaki pottery, and festivals. Kanazawa is also known as a place where Noh (Japanese classic play) continues to flourish.