Reischauer Scholars Program 2012
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 students from throughout the United States to engage in an intensive study of Japan. Selected students will participate in this online course on Japan from February to June 2012.
Currently entering its ninth year, 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. 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 2012. Students should expect to allot 3–6 hours per week to complete the lectures, discussions, readings, and assignments. Since this is a distance-learning course, however, students will be able to 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, and there are no student fees.
The 2012 Reischauer Scholars Program is no longer accepting applications. The 2013 RSP application will be available on this website in September 2012. Thank you for your interest in the RSP. For more information, please download the RSP brochure or e-mail Naomi Funahashi, Reischauer Scholars Program Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Reischauer Scholars Program: "Japan Day" Celebrated to Honor Two Reischauer Scholars
- “Teens Log on to Learn about U.S.–Japan Relations”
Nichi Bei Times Weekly. August 28–September 3, 2008. Page 3. (PDF)
- “Stanford Program Wins $25,000 Goldman Sachs Foundation Prize”
March 19, 2008
- “SPICE Program Honors Reischauer Scholars”
Nichi Bei Times Weekly. October 4–10, 2007: Page 3. (PDF)
- The Goldman Sachs Foundation Prizes for Excellence in International Education: 2007 Excellence in International Education Prize Winners (Media and Technology Prize)
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the purpose of the Reischauer Scholars Program (RSP)?
A: The RSP was established by the Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education (SPICE) in 2003 to provide exemplary high school students across the U.S. with a comprehensive distance learning course on Japan and U.S.–Japan relations. The RSP enables students to develop a rich understanding of various aspects of Japanese culture, art, literature, history, economics, society, and politics and the historical and contemporary relationship between the United States and Japan.
Q: Who is eligible to apply to the RSP?
A: All current high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors (Classes of 2012, 2013, and 2014) in the United States are eligible to apply. Students are of diverse ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds, and range from those who have exhausted every possible opportunity to learn about Japan and want more, to those who have never had the opportunity to take a course on Japan but are intellectually curious about Japan and its culture. Many of the participants want to be challenged to a far greater extent than their high schools can provide. The 2012 RSP is opening up the application process to high school sophomores for the second year in a row.
Students who apply to the RSP should be self-motivated, genuinely interested in learning about Japan and U.S.–Japan relations, and excited about interacting with other high school students across the United States.
Q: How is the RSP coursework structured?
A: From February through June, students participate in an Internet-mediated course that provides a broad overview of Japanese history, literature, religion, art, politics, economics, education, and contemporary society, as well as U.S.–Japan relations. Top scholars and leading diplomats provide weekly lectures, and engage students in dialog via live Virtual Classroom (VC) sessions. Students complete reading materials, assignments, and a final research project that is printed in journal format and distributed to all students.
Q: What makes the RSP unique?
A: The college-level instruction provided by top scholars and diplomats is unparalleled in other distance learning courses for high school students. Among the distinguished lecturers for the course are former Ambassador Ryozo Kato, Japanese ambassador to the U.S.; Ambassador Thomas Schieffer, U.S. ambassador to Japan; Dr. Sadako Ogata, former UN High Commissioner for Refugees; Ambassador Michael Armacost, former U.S. ambassador to Japan; Professor Daniel Okimoto, Political Science, Stanford University; and many other scholars from the United States and Japan. The Virtual Classroom sessions also provide students with the occasion to engage in live discourse with these preeminent scholars and diplomats. During the VCs, the discussion leaders often challenge students to engage higher-order thinking skills and to consider multiple perspectives. This unique opportunity to learn directly from such noted scholars is a distinctive element of the RSP.
Q: What are the technology requirements for participating in the RSP?
A: High speed Internet access, a Mac or PC computer, and a computer microphone.
Q: How much does it cost to participate in the RSP?
A: There are no tuition or material fees associated with the RSP. Students are required, however, to have high speed Internet access at home in order to access the course content and participate in the Virtual Classroom sessions.
Q: How much time should students expect to dedicate to the RSP?
A: Students typically spend between 3–6 hours per week on the RSP. This time is spent completing the course readings and homework assignments, and participating in the discussion forums and Virtual Classroom sessions. The Virtual Classroom sessions take place on ten evenings throughout the course (schedule to be determined) at 6:00pm PST. This is to accommodate all students across the United States, from Hawai’i to New York.
Q: Do students need to know the Japanese language to participate in the RSP?
A: Students are not required to know the Japanese language to participate in the RSP.