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Programs : Brochure

  • Locations: Kyoto, Japan; Nara, Japan; Osaka, Japan; Tokyo, Japan
  • Program Terms: May Experience
  • Restrictions: Furman applicants only
  • Budget Sheets: May Experience
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Dates / Deadlines:

The application period for this program has not started.
Fact Sheet:
Program Type: Faculty-led Language of Instruction: English
Minimum GPA: 2.5 Areas of Study: All majors welcome, Asian Studies, Japanese Studies
Faculty Director or Program Advisor: Shusuke Yagi - Asian Studies Applicable Financial Aid: Study Away Scholarship
Type of Course Credit: Furman course credit Credit Hours Per Term: 2 credits
Program Description:

Program-Specific Info Sessions:
Wednesday, October 11th at 5pm in Furman Hall 229
Thursday, October 26th at 5pm in Furman Hall 229

Japanese Architecture & Living Spaces

Japanese building
Student Group in Japan


This program introduces students to Japanese architecture, environmental design, and living spaces through ages and diverse places in Japan. They will study how Japanese people gave birth to some core cultural concepts and values such as “Ma (unique spatiotemporal concept of space)” and aesthetics of shadows while they built diverse buildings, e.g., Shinto shrines, Buddhist temples, imperial villas, Samurai castles, and tea-ceremony rooms, designed Zen dry gardens and Samurai Lord stroll gardens, created accommodating places from traditional Japanese-style Ryokan inn to modern hotel and contemporary capsule hotel. They will also study, while eating, how Japanese people utilized those core cultural concepts and values to design dining accommodations from standing noodle shop, traditional tatami-matsitting Kaiseki Ryori, Fami(ly) Res(taurant) where one can order anything, to Japanese pub Izakaya, maid café, owl cafe as well as futuristic robot restaurant. They further study living spaces, while visiting, from the ancient two-thousandyear-old first major wet-rice cultivating dwellings through imperial, aristocratic, samurai warrior, modern, and contemporary houses using the same concepts and values. While visiting and gazing, they also study exhibiting spaces from art museums to Ghibli Museum featuring Japanese anime characters and the hippest place such as trendy Harajuku, Shibuya, and the Japanese popular culture mecca, Akihabara to observe with what common and different space principles they are developed.

To learn more academic, environmental, physical and health expectations for this program view our Japanese Architecture & Living Spaces Program Inventory.


Course Title: Japanese Architecture and Living Spaces
Course Number: JPN 260
Course Description: Travel-study course exploring Japanese space and environmental design in temples, shrines, castles, houses, exhibiting and accommodating facilities, garden landscaping, and the interior in historical context. May Experience ONLY. 2 credits.


May Experience programs are open to Furman University students of all majors, subject to any course prerequisites. Successful applicants will demonstrate a marked academic, vocational, or personal interest in the topic of the course. The faculty directors of this program will read all applications and admit the most qualified individuals. All things being equal, preference is given to upperclassmen who have not participated in a study away program previously.


The Rinker Center for Study Away and International Education reviews all study away programs on an annual basis, and more frequently as needed, to plan for and mitigate risks associated with the health and safety of participants while traveling. In this day and age, nothing is risk-free. Students and faculty are instructed to remain vigilant and cautious at all times and will receive additional instructions during a pre-departure orientation session and on-site orientation programming. When students commit to a study away program, they are asked to self-disclose personal information - which may include allergies, medications, disabilities, mental health conditions, medical concerns, and past medical histories. This information is shared with the faculty directors and study away staff for use during medical emergencies, and in an effort to be aware of and plan for situations that may arise or accommodations that are needed while students are away from Furman's campus resources. It is extremely important for students to be transparent and forthcoming about their concerns, needs, and medical histories prior to the start of the program as well as during the program. Furman University contracts with Educational and Institutional Insurance Administrators (EIIA) to provide medical and emergency services to students while traveling abroad on Furman study away programs. Students participating in study away programs in the United States are required to show proof of medical insurance. 


To confirm participation in a study away program, a non-refundable $500 deposit is due two weeks after acceptance. The final payment deadline is in early to mid-March and will be specified in the Financial Agreement associated with the program.

Study Away Need-Based Scholarships
Need-based study away scholarships are available. Priority is given to students who have not previously participated in a study away program. Students who apply by the May Experience scholarship deadline will receive a scholarship amount estimate ahead of the program deposit deadline.
Townes, Duke, and Hollingsworth Scholars should alert the Rinker Center for Study Away to apply their one-time study away stipend to their study away program.

May Experience Study Away Program Fee Inclusions
        Roundtrip airfare from a designated city (for international destinations)
        Transportation for domestic study away programs varies by program
Tourist visas (if required)
Lodging for the duration of the program
Ground transportation for program-related activities/events
Entrance fees to programmed activities/events/venues
Tours included in the study away program
Group meals (students will know ahead of time how many group meals will be provided)
Emergency Medical Insurance (on international programs)

Program Fee Exclusions
Transportation to the designated departure city (for international programs)
Transportation for domestic study away programs varies by program
Meals not included in program fee (will vary by program)
Required books/materials/supplies/equipment/gear
Passport fees

Optional Program Expenses
Site-seeing during free time
International cell phone plan
Trip cancellation or interruption insurance 
Personal expenses and souvenirs

Please see May Experience Budget Sheet at the top of this page for estimated program costs.

This program is currently not accepting applications.