Term 4


China and Japan
Power and Politics

2 Course Program

Dates

Apr. 19–Jun. 2
 

Locations

  • Beijing
  • Hong Kong
  • Hiroshima
  • Miyajima
  • Osaka
  • Kyoto
  • Takayama
  • Nagoya
  • Tokyo
See full itinerary here.

Staffing

9:1 Student to Staff Ratio

Availability

OPEN

Courses Offered

Two Mandatory Courses

 Social Sciences

 International Politics
 World Cultures

Three Mandatory Courses

 English

 English—choice of 3 options
 English
 

See full course descriptions here.

WHY TAKE THIS PROGRAM?

Travelling to China and Japan allows you time to discover the complex mindset of two economic power brokers in the new world order. This program is a deep-dive into these rich cultures that traces their rise, fall and the recent rise in power. As we research the urgent issues of global warming, globalization, population growth and artificial intelligence we will hear from members of the community to gain perspective into their political solutions. Immersing yourself in the mindset of these cultures inspires debates, discussions and connections to new solutions. Our goal is to look behind the myths and fake news stories that have polarized world politics to gain a deeper understanding of the strange paradoxes between government policies and actual practices.

WHY TAKE THIS PROGRAM?

Travelling to China and Japan allows you time to discover the complex mindset of two economic power brokers in the new world order. This program is a deep-dive into these rich cultures that traces their rise, fall and the recent rise in power. As we research the urgent issues of global warming, globalization, population growth and artificial intelligence we will hear from members of the community to gain perspective into their political solutions. Immersing yourself in the mindset of these cultures inspires debates, discussions and connections to new solutions. Our goal is to look behind the myths and fake news stories that have polarized world politics to gain a deeper understanding of the strange paradoxes between government policies and actual practices.

What
Students
Are
Saying

{
I experienced so much in just three months. I travelled to six countries, met new people and learned about the world. It was absolutely surreal to have a World Issues lesson at the Forbidden City in Beijing and to ride in a Tuk Tuk to get to class. School is so much more than the four walls of a classroom; you have to go beyond, see the world and experience your learning firsthand. That is what education is. I am so grateful for these moments. I know I have grown so much from this experience and I will carry this knowledge of the world with me for the rest of my life.

Sasha Hasick
Student, Term 1: Culture, Currency and Conflict, 2018

Program Itinerary

Read about each itinerary location by tapping the icon.

Preparation and Coursework

Days 1–5
Our online session is designed to connect students with their teachers and classmates, and to help prepare students for their term abroad. Students have access to the course website, where reading lists will be posted and are required to complete all prep work prior to departure to ensure they are ready to hit the ground running overseas.

Departure from Toronto

Days 6–7
Our academic adventure in Asia commences in Toronto, where teachers and students get to know each other and settle into the rhythm of the program.
Beijing
Days 8–15
In Beijing, students venture into the heart of the People’s Republic of China, tracing the steps of emperors through the Forbidden City, and discussing the teachings of Chairman Mao, as they cross Tiananmen Square. Beijing is the perfect location to begin the study of two core themes that frame our World Issues course: the contrast between the east and the west, and the relationship between communism and capitalism. Students begin their studies as they survey the complex history and modern contradictions of modern China, making their way through the city’s bustling markets and hutongs, and hiking along the legendary Great Wall.
Hong Kong
Days 15–22
In Hong Kong, students witness how both British and Chinese traditions have combined to build a global financial epicentre. Here, we immerse ourselves in a world of contrasts from the lively Tsim Sha Tsui district to the serene Tian Tan Buddha. Exploring the city’s fusion, students witness how east meets west and the realities of economic globalization. A visit to the Hong Kong History Museum further frames Hong Kong’s current position both politically and economically on the global stage, as students learn about China’s diplomatic relationships. A day trip to Big Wave Bay outside of the city allows students to hike the lush forest paths to reach a white sand beach—a welcome reprieve from the active days spent in Beijing and Hong Kong.
Hiroshima and Miyajima
Days 22–32
From Hong Kong, we travel northeast to Hiroshima, Japan. There, students learn about the tragic events that brought World War II to an end at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and Museum. Largely destroyed by the atomic bomb, Hiroshima has transformed itself into a city fuelled by art and culture, making this an ideal location for students to reflect on themes of memory and legacy. They also have the opportunity to delve deeper into their investigation through the art of photography with a visit to the Museum of Contemporary Art and through their own creative writing exercises.
Osaka
Days 32–37
A bullet train transports us across the island of Japan to Osaka, a city of contrasts. There, students explore the marine-life aquarium juxtaposed against the historic Osaka Castle. Students examine Japan’s diplomatic relationships, as they trace its economic evolution from World War II to the present day. Evenings are spent walking along the Dōtonbori canal—reminding visitors of a curious mix of Venice, Italy, and New York’s Times Square, and trying local ramen and Japanese barbecue. Osaka’s bright electronic billboards and historical architecture immerse students in a fascinating, modern city like no other.
Kyoto
Days 37–41
From Osaka, students travel to the cultural heart of Japan—Kyoto. Known to many North Americans for the infamous failed Kyoto Protocol, it is a perfect location for delving into the complexities of international agreements, climate change, and the power of protest. The City of Ten Thousand Shrines, Kyoto teems with remarkable Buddhist temples, Zen gardens, palaces, and traditional wooden bridges and homes. Amidst its well-kept gardens, students delve into the study of Geisha, the traditional art form performed by Japanese women.
Takayama and Nagoya
Days 41–44
From Kyoto, students travel to Takayama to slow down the pace. Time there is spent working on essays with close guidance from teachers, as well as commencing research for final Independent Study Unit interviews. Excursions to the Toyota museum in Nagoya, inspire dialogue in lecture, as students weigh topics such as the pros and cons of a car-centric society as it relates to international trade.
Tokyo
Days 44–50

The bustling capital of Tokyo is the last stop on our journey. A collision of traditional and modern, students are immersed in the neon-lit streets surrounded by towering skyscrapers, juxtaposed against serene parks dotted with temples and cherry trees. Students visit sites like Shibuya crossing—the busiest pedestrian crossing in the world, and the lively and fashionable Roppongi and Harajuku neighbourhoods. Over meals of Japanese BBQ and bowls of shabu, students reflect on their time in Japan and bid a fond farewell from atop the Tokyo Tower.

Departure from Tokyo Day 50

Students Return Home

Beijing

Days 8–15

Hong Kong

Days 15–22

Hiroshima and Miyajima

Days 22–32

Osaka

Days 32–37

Kyoto

Days 37–41

Takayama and Nagoya

Days 41–44

Tokyo

Days 44–50

What’s Included

Program Costs

  • Ministry-approved credit(s) upon successful completion of the course(s)
  • Custom course pack
  • Student Login
  • MEI journal
  • Digital yearbook

Travel Costs

  • Hotels and accommodations
  • Breakfast and dinner daily
  • Entrance fees to all course-specific sites
  • Return airfare from Toronto’s Pearson
  • International Airport
  • Approximate airline departure taxes, surcharges and fees
  • Airfare between countries
  • Transportation between hotel locations via private coach
  • Transportation for all listed program excursions

*Based on air fares, land tariffs and currency exchange rates as of January, 2019.
Please note the possibility of increases in airfares and land costs prior to departure. Any increase must be borne by the individual participant.

**Program cost does not include non-refundable $95 registration fee.

Program Fee Does Not Include

  • Lunches
  • Insurances
  • Gratuities
  • Course texts
  • Medical Insurance and Cancellation Protection†
  • Non-refundable $95 Registration Fee
†All students travelling with MEI Academy are required to purchase Medical Insurance.

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