Moravian Students Travel Abroad to Understand Japan

For the second year, Moravian College and the International Studies department will be offering their Japan May Term course, Legacies of WWII.

The course will be taught by Dr. Kelly Denton-Borhaug and Dr. Daniel Jasper. They will help students gain a better understanding of the effects the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki had on those cities and on Japan as a whole.

Students will be given the chance to experience Japan’s culture and society, while learning about efforts to promote peace and justice in the years following the end of the Second World War. They will also get the chance to experience the city of Kyoto in their final days of the trip.

In addition to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, students will also get the chance to visit the city of Tondabayashi, where Moravian’s sister school, Osaka-Ohtani University, resides. There, Moravian students will meet their Japanese peers and explore the town.

This year’s program has undergone major changes, the first being a price cut. The trip now costs $1,000 less than last year. This is due to Moravian College’s receiving a grant from the Japan-United States Friendship Commission, whose primary focus is on building relations between the two countries.

The Friendship Commission provides grants to organizations to help them fund these types of trips, with the ultimate goal being the promotion of friendship and multicultural relationships.

“ [The Japan-United States Friendship Commission] wants American students to be exposed to the grassroots of what diplomacy is all about,” the grant officer told Dr. Denton-Borhaug. “They see [the opportunity] as diplomacy in training.”

With the grant, Moravian College has been able to reduce the price of the trip, extend it an extra day, and provide a few more surprises.

Jasper and Denton-Borhaug said that bringing students on last year’s trip helped them receive the grant, by providing evidence to the Commission of the interactions and understanding the students had. The connections that Moravian students made with their Osaka-Ohtani counterparts also impacted their decision as well.

This year Jasper and Denton-Borhaug added more time for students to explore Japan and experience the culture at their own pace. However, the 2018 May-term trip is not only for Moravian students; faculty are also welcome. Thanks to the grant, two additional  faculty members may sign on. The only stipulation is that they provide a new experience for the students in Japan. Both Jasper and Denton-Borhaug are still accepting applications from faculty, so those interested should contact them as soon as possible.

An alumnus of the trip, I experienced it in its infancy. I learned more about Japan and its movements toward peace, creating amazing memories with my fellow classmates in the process. The trip also gave me a chance to reflect upon peace overall and the impact it has on my  life.

I would highly recommend  this trip for those wanting to go abroad. This is a rare chance to go to Asia without being weighed down by adult responsibilities. For many, it may be their only chance to see Japan.  

If you’re interested, contact Dr. Denton-Borhaug or Dr. Jasper with any questions or concerns. The early bird application is due on Monday, Nov. 27, which reduces the deposit price by $350. Applications after that are due on Jan. 25. More information can be found on the Moravian International Studies page. If you would like to see student blogs from last year’s trip, check out the My Moravian blog.