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Learn about our Japan program

The Japan summer program gives students a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to immerse themselves in one of the world’s most fascinating societies. The four-week program is designed to integrate travel, classroom learning, curated excursions, and purposeful social engagement to help students better understand Japan’s history, economy, politics and culture. Yes, students will eat incredible food and enjoy the island nation’s unique pop culture, but even more importantly, the cross-cultural experience will make students more empathetic, nuanced in their worldviews and aware of their own cultural preferences and biases. Key to this learning process is the student’s openness to listening, engaging and being curious. 

The Japan Summer Program is designed for: 

  • Students pursuing careers with an international focus
  • Students who understand that the 21st century economy is highly globalized and requires professionals that understand the role of Asian businesses, culture, and politics
  • Students who want a fun-yet-academically rigorous study abroad experience
  • Students who want to develop their network of contacts and build bridges to the international professional world

Program Dates

May 7, 2023 - June 2, 2023

The dates listed above are planned group flight departure dates from LAX and in-country return departure date.


Tuition: $1,955 per unit (same as Malibu tuition per unit)

Room & Board: $2,472

Program Specific Costs:

  • Global Health Fee: $108 (estimated)

Required Vital Documents and Deadlines


Completed IP Document Submission Form including the following documents:

Japan Vital Docs and Deadlines Checklist

  • Passport Copy
    • Due January 20, 2023
  • Health Clearance Form and Flight Itinerary
    • Programs departing in May 2023: Date March 17, 2023
    • *For summer students also enrolled in an AY program, please contact IP regarding your HCF submission due date in order for it to be valid for both/all programs.
  • Visa Copy (if applicable for non-U.S. passport holders): April 27, 2023

Course Requirements

4 unit minimum requirement.

Course Offerings

ECON 211 Introduction to Macroeconomics (3) 

GE: Human Institutions & Behavior

An introduction to the principles of economic analysis, institutions, issues, and policies. Emphasis is on national income, monetary and fiscal policy, international trade, resource allocation, and income distribution through the price system.


ASIA/HIST 310  (4)

Examines the history of modern Japanese society from the rise of the Tokugawa Shogunate (seventeenth- to nineteenth-century military rule) to the end of the Pacific War (1937-1945). The ideas, historical events, and social forces that underpinned the Tokugawa era (early modern), as well as Japan's selective absorption of European and American influences will be studied. The course seeks to understand the role ideas and action (thought and practice)--traditional and modern, Japanese and non-Japanese--played in national integration, rapid industrialization, and Japan's emergence as a twentieth-century power. A modern history, the course places its topic in the broader study of modernity and modernization theory.

HUM 295 Enriching the International Experience (1)

This course is designed to enrich the student’s international experience by providing opportunities to engage more fully with the culture and to reflect more deeply on the experience. It is the goal of this course to help students know how to look at and listen to their new culture and how to give meaning to their international experience. Taught only in International Programs. May be repeated in a different location. Cr/NC grading only.

Program Faculty Directors

Charlie Engelmann

Professor Charlie Engelmann

Director,  Asia Program | International Programs

Office: TCC 133

Charlie Engelmann was the director of Pepperdine’s Shanghai International Program for eight years and is currently supporting efforts to expand the university’s programmatic offerings in Asia. Charlie is a graduate of Seaver College (2001) and an alum of the Heidelberg program, where his love for travel and cross-cultural learning first began. Upon graduation, Charlie moved to China, where he lived for a total of 15 years. On his many trips to Japan, Charlie fell in love with Japanese culture, history, and food (especially ramen!). Charlie also teaches Macroeconomics (Econ 211) and the International Experience (HUM 295). In both classes, his focus is on integrating relevant academic knowledge with students’ outside-the-classroom experiential learning while in Asia. 

Mike Sugimoto

Dr. Michael T. Sugimoto

Coordinator of The Asian Studies Program | Professor of Asian Studies

Office: PLC 187

Mike Sugimoto is a Professor of Asian Studies at Pepperdine University where he teaches courses on modern Japanese nationalism, Japanese and Asian cinema, and Japanese literature. His research interests include the modern formation of national identity and analyzing the role of narrative in premodern vs modern notions of subjectivity, including poetry, the novel, and film. Dr. Sugimoto’s pedagogy is discussion-based and comparative in approach, employing a range of multi-disciplinary materials to illuminate a period of history. He enjoys travel, cooking, theology, and liturgical worship.


Updated: 08.16.22