Skip to Content

Studying in Japan

Study the intersection of art and culture in Japan!

ART3711: Special Topics – Japanese Design, Culture, and Aesthetics


Program at a Glance

map of Japan

Program Dates: June 15 – July 6, 2024

Program Leaders

Academic Director: Christie Herbert, Professor of Visual Arts
Program Director: Peg Alden, Professor of Anthropology

Scholarship Availability

There is one need-based scholarship available for this program. See below for details and an application link.


Consider the following to determine if this course is right for you. Details below.

Free time/Independence: Moderate
Physical Demands: Moderate
Transitions: Low to Moderate
Stimuli: High
Language Difficulty: Moderate
Cultural Differences: Significant

Learn about the ways in which Japanese aesthetics and fundamental notions of design permeate its culture and art while living in Japan.

Program Dates

June 15 – July 6, 2024

Program Overview

  • Establish a basic working understanding of Japanese geography, culture, and history, and how it has shaped its design and aesthetics.
  • Explore how Japanese cultural values and norms have been shaped by its geography and history and are reflected in its language, food, and religious and social practices.
  • Engage in experiential activities that highlight and explore historical and contemporary Japanese art and design through field trips, observation, and interactions throughout our time in Japan.
  • Study how Japanese aesthetics and fundamental notions of design permeate its culture and art.
  • Choose and explore an art form or aesthetic principle for a final, in-depth project.

Housing, Transportation, and Program Activities

Students will be fully immersed in Japanese culture during this program. The group will spend a majority of time living and learning in Tokyo.

Housing for the group will be in a hotel with two students to a room. The group will use public transportation to get around the city, both for program activities and during free time.

The program includes:

  • A one-night excursion to the small city of Nikko in the mountainous Tochigi Prefecture.
  • A day trip to Kamakura
  • Numerous other outings in and around Tokyo

Travel to and From Japan

Flights for this program will depart from a New York area airport. Some students may incur additional costs to get to the departure airport to meet the group.

Flights to and from Japan are long, and the whole process of getting to Japan can take 24 hours or so. The time difference between Putney, Vermont and Tokyo, Japan is +12 hours; students should expect to experience jet lag.

At least one program leader will accompany the group on each flight.

Landmark will offer optional shuttle service between campus and the airport, with a stop in Massachusetts or Connecticut depending on student demand.

Students may opt out of the group flight; in this case they would be credited the amount of the flight and would make their own round-trip travel booking.

Important Information about Bringing Prescription Medications into Japan

The Japanese government has strict restrictions on the kinds of medications that may be brought into the country. Please review the information below carefully to determine if it may impact you.

  • Special Considerations

    Consider the following to determine if this course is right for you.

    • Free time/Independence: Moderate
    • Physical Demands: Moderate
    • Transitions: Low to Moderate
    • Stimuli: High
    • Language Difficulty: Moderate
    • Cultural Differences: Significant

    The flights to and from Japan are l-o-n-g (the whole process of getting to Japan can take 24 hours or so). The time difference between Putney, Vermont and Tokyo, Japan is +12 hours. Your program will start while you are still experiencing jet lag.

    Housing for most of the program is in (very small) shared (double) rooms.

    Food options may be limited, or different from what one finds in the U.S. (e.g., soup for breakfast), so dietary flexibility is necessary.  There will be meals when the program will not be able to accommodate individual dietary needs.

  • Japan's restrictions on prescription medications vary from those in the United States. Detailed information and guidelines about prescription medication as related to this program are forthcoming.

  • Academic Prerequisites

    ART3711 is a 3-credit, 3000-level course and requires the following prerequisites:

    • Good academic standing (GPA of 2.0 or above)
    • EDU1011 or EDU1001
    • WRT1012 and
    • One 1000-level course in the Integrated Arts - can be ART, CER, DRW, MUS, PHO, PNT, THE, VIT or Art History Course

    OR permission of the department chair, Meg Baronian.

    The following abilities are also prerequisites for this program:

    • Ability to function independently in a large city without direct faculty guidance
    • Ability to respect cultural expectations of group conformity
    • Ability to draw and reflect on connections between experiences and class concepts
  • Photo of Christie HerbertAcademic Director: Christie Herbert, Professor of Arts

    Christie Herbert is a Professor of Art and has taught at Landmark College since 1986. Christie is a practicing ceramic artist and creates both sculptural and functional work.

    Christie earned a B.A. in English from Reed College, a Masters in Teaching from the School for International Training, and an M.F.A. in Visual Arts from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She currently serves as the President of the Board at the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center.

    Christie has led numerous Landmark College study abroad programs, including trips to Japan and Germany.


    Photo of professor Peg AldenProgram Director: Peg Alden, Professor of Anthropology

    Peg Alden is a Professor of Anthropology at Landmark College. Peg earned her Ed.D. in Human Development and M.Ed. in Organization Development from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and her B.I.S. in International Studies from the School for International Training.

    Peg has led many LC study abroad programs, in Costa Rica, New Zealand, the Netherlands, and other locations.

  • Program Cost: TBD - we expect the program fee to be between $8,000 and $8,500

    Cost of this program includes:

    • 3-credit course
    • Group flights
    • In-country transportation
    • Field trips and housing
    • Health insurance for the duration of the program
    • Some group meals

    Student spending can vary depending on the individual. Estimated additional costs are approximately $800 - $1000. Additional costs include:

    • Most meals. Budget-friendly restaurant options are available.
    • Free time activities
    • Cell phone costs, if students plan to activate a roaming plan or purchase a local SIM card
    • Laundry
    • Souvenirs, gifts, etc.
    • Additional baggage fees beyond the first checked bag
  • Scholarship

    Landmark College’s “Global Engagement” Scholarship offers a scholarship of up to 50% of the program fee. Scholarships are need-based and in general there are 1 – 2 scholarships available per program.

  • Application Process and Pre-departure Group Meetings

    Click the link at the top of the sidebar on this page to apply. The application deadline is Sunday, February 11, 2024.

    Please note the following important dates:

    • Application deadline: Sunday, February 11, 2024
    • Admissions notification date: Friday, February 16, 2024
    • Enrollment confirmation and deposit due date: Monday, February 26, 2024
    • Group pre-departure meeting: Friday, May 10, 2024
  • Accepted students must complete the following and submit it to the Office of Study Abroad (Lewis 215) by Monday, February 26:

    1. Release and Indemnification Agreement
    2. Health Form
    3. Photocopy of Passport

    Students must be sure to read the Landmark College Conditions of Participation, referenced in the Release form.

Back to top