This spring, the Carolina Asia Center and UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School will participate in the Kakehashi Project, a fully funded youth exchange program between Japan and the United States. The program is designed to promote deeper cultural understanding among youth, create networking opportunities for future leaders of Japan-U.S exchanges and encourage future international work by broadening student perspectives. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has received funding to support 15 business majors from UNC Kenan-Flagler, eight Asian studies majors and two faculty members who will spend a week in Japan over spring break.

Students will be joined by Sharon Cannon, clinical associate professor of management and corporate communication at UNC Kenan-Flagler, and Yuki Aratake, teaching associate professor in Japanese in the Asian studies department in the College of Arts and Sciences.

“This is a generous opportunity for our students to visit Japan largely cost-free,” said Carolina Asia Center director Morgan Pitelka, who applied for the opportunity through the Consulate-General of Japan in Atlanta. “It also represents an exciting collaboration between the College and UNC Kenan-Flagler, one that will bring many of these students their first global experience.”

In Japan, Carolina students and faculty will join a large group of program participants from other business schools around the U.S. While the program focuses on business, students will also learn about Japanese politics, society, culture, history, diplomatic policy, economics and much more.

After arriving in Tokyo, students will travel to Tochigi Prefecture, where they will visit leading Japanese companies and industries, see important landmarks in Japanese history and culture and travel to Nikko Futarasan Shrine.

Program experiences range from visiting high-tech companies across industries and attending a lecture at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to learning about tea ceremonies and other cultural traditions.

Students will also have a home stay, giving them the opportunity to meet and stay with a Japanese family for a day and night.

At the end of the trip, the students will share a group presentation on their experiences and discuss post-program action plans for their return home.

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