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  • Locations: Hong Kong, Hong Kong; Osaka, Japan; Tokyo, Japan
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Restrictions: Elon applicants only
  • Budget Sheets: Summer
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Program Description:
Location HousingItineraryCancellation PolicyCostScholarships / GrantsLinksMore Information

Japan rising sun photo

Course Description


For the last 70 years, Japan has been the most important and integral ally of the United States in Asia. A unique culture which has created a vibrant economy and an innovative business environment that has become a global force to be contended with in the fields of technology and manufacturing. This course will investigate the modern-day complexities rooted in the ancient historical past in the land of the Rising Sun. It is aimed at understanding how international trade, business and economic activity influence culture, politics, wealth, and society across this region and the world. The increasing pace of globalization has created exciting new opportunities. 
Japan provides a unique learning opportunity for the United States. Japan’s aging population, high levels of government debt, and recent unseating as the dominant economy in the region to China mirror a possible future for the United States. Japan provides a natural case study to understand the economic and geo-political evolution of a rising China. The effects are wide ranging and include massive governmental policy (Abenomics), restructuring of the economy and changes in the Japanese psyche itself.  Students will integrate these issues and form a deeper philosophical approach to them with regards to international business and economics.

While the primary focus remains Japan, there is no shying away from the Asia Pacific region and the similarities and differences shared with China in Hong Kong. The history and economic development of both these countries have been intertwined and though their paths appear similar, they have often forged ahead in different directions. Contrasting how both countries have reacted to the crisis that hit Asia in the 1990s is a perfect example. Arguably Japan is still recovering while China has altered its business practices in innovative ways to adapt practices from Hong Kong to the rest of China. This course travels not only to Japan but also to Hong Kong, China where students will be visiting universities and business to learn more about China and contrast it with their experiences in Japan. This is an amazing opportunity to compare and contrast two dynamic cultures and countries that have been in the forefront of economic development since the 1950s.
This course is based on an innovative case-based experimental model anchored at Kansai Giada University near Osaka, Japan with meaningful interaction with Japanese students.  We will be engaging students at historical and cultural sights of significance in Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Tokyo and Hong Kong as well as visiting an array of multinational corporations and entrepreneurs. Students will be exposed to Japanese culture such as Anime and Manga while learning some Japanese. We will then travel to Hong Kong. It has served as the center of international trade and finance in Asia throughout the years. Despite the transfer of power to the Chinese mainland in 1997, Hong Kong remains autonomous, retains its capitalist system, independent judiciary, rule of law, and freedom of speech.

Flyer: 1-Page 2018 Summer in Japan and Hong Kong.pdf

About the Location

Kansai Gaidai University, where our course is based, is located in the city of Hirakata (pop: 405,000), 30 minutes by local train from Osaka, Japan’s third largest city, and Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan. Located in the cultural heart of Japan, Kansai Gaidai provides an excellent starting point from which to begin exploring of a land that, by anyone's standards, is truly fascinating. We will visit several of the key cities in the Kansai region for cultural immersion and business visits. Students will have access to all Kansai Gaidai facilities including on campus McDonald’s, Seattle’s Best, library, fitness centers and more.
Osaka has been a major center of commerce since the eighteenth century, and is still a vast and expanding hub of business and industry today. The metropolis exhibits many colorful aspects as can be seen in the competition for bigger and showier street signs which are on display in Minami (the southern part of the downtown district). As a center of pop culture, Osaka never ceases to generate a variety of new trends and give birth to new dimensions of the urban experience in Japan. Day trips to Kobe and Nara and other various places will be available.  
Tokyo is a place where tradition and popular culture collide. Tokyo is known for its ancient temples and shrines among the glittering shards of glass and steel from the modern world. Tokyo is Japan’s never sleeping city with seemingly unlimited choice of shopping, entertainment, culture and dining. It is the capital and the largest city in Japan with 23 special wards and 39 municipalities and a population of more than 37 million residing in the bustling metropolis. It has historical, cultural modern sights to visit and is the leading financial global industrial center in Asia; it is ranked third in the global economic power index and fourth in the global cities index. It is deemed an expensive city, but is one of the most vibrant dynamic and visually and cultural stimulating cities around the globe. 

Hong Kong:
Hong Kong is a city that’s evolved from a cluster of simple fishing villages to a global financial powerhouse. Hong Kong has a rich history being a former British colony and has a unique government.  Hong Kong has served as a model for economic growth for mainland China and the region.  Today Hong Kong boasts Gross Domestic Product of $321 billion.   Hong Kong is also a marvel of urban design with over 7 million residents in a tiny footprint making it the 4th most densely populated place on Earth.  Explore with us Hong Kong’s unique history, culture and economy. 


Experience a mix of traditional Japanese community living and Western style hotels. 

We begin our course in In Hong Kong, you will stay in either a 3-4 star western type hotel with double occupancy similar to The Salisbury Kowloon. The accommodations will centrally located in great neighborhoods such as Tsim Sha Tsui, Wan Chai or Central with excellent access to the entire city via MTR.
Next we flight to Tokyo where you will stay in a 3 or 4-star western style hotel with double occupancy similar to Shibuya Tokyu Rei Hotel in a centrally located area such as Shibuya, Roppongi Hills, or Ginza. 
While at Kansai Gaidai you will stay in one of four Seminar Houses, traditional Japanese student housing. These accommodations offer tatami-mat Japanese style rooms with double occupancy; a desk, closet, and futon (bedding) is provided for each resident. The Seminar House offers a computer room, TV lounges, kitchens and dining rooms, a common shower room on each floor, and a coin-operated laundry. Internet access is available in each room.
We end our study of China and Japan in Osaka, we will stay in a centrally-located 3-4 star western style hotel similar to Hotel New Hankyu Osaka in the fashionable Umeda district.

2018 Tentative Itinerary

Program dates are slated as June 4, 2018 to June 30, 2018.
2018 Tentative Itinerary

Part 1: Hong Kong, China (7 nights)

  • Guided tour of Hong Kong and the Pearl river delta
  • Compare and contrast Japanese business culture with Chinese business culture first hand through a business visit in Hong Kong and/or an interactive talk with an expert in the subject matter
  • Explore parts of Hong Kong in small breakout groups
  • Experience the vast night markets and unique Cantonese Cuisine
Part 2: Arrive in the Land of the Rising Sun- Tokyo, Japan (6 nights)
  • Stay three minutes from the busiest pedestrian crosswalk in the world, Shibuya!
  • Guided tour of Tokyo to learn about Meiji Dynasty, stroll grounds of Imperial Palace, find peace at the Meiji Jingu Shrine, cruise around Tokyo bay, and experience the hyper-modern neighborhoods of Ginza and Odaiba.
  • Several business visits relating to case-based discussions with executive-led meetings.
  • Experience a traditional tea ceremony
  • Evenings free to explore your karaoke skills
Part 3:   At the end, we will be based in ancient heart of Japan, the Kansai Region (12 nights)
  • Stay in the bustling center of Osaka (Umeda area) (2 nights)
  • While in Osaka enjoy a private tour of its cultural treasures.
  • Transfer to Kansai Gaidai University (10 nights)
  • Develop an understanding of economy and business environment through daily meetings covering case-based topics in International Business, Economics, Intercultural Team building, and Japanese Art lead by Elon and Kansai Gaidai faculty
  • Business visits relating to case-based discussions
  • Meet and explore Japanese culture with Japanese students from Kansai Gaidai: go shopping, sing karaoke, get Yakiniku (Japanese BBQ) and more
  • Three academic day trips to nearby cities such as Kyoto to “trace the steps of the shogun"
2018 Japan and Hong Kong tentative program calendar.docx
Note: Itinerary is subject to change due to availability of local facilities and scheduling issues.


Cancellation Policy

To cancel your participation in a program, complete the Short-Term Program Cancellation questionnaire in your application.

Students submitting a cancellation form for Summer Term Programs are subject to the following payment schedule:

  • March 8, 2018 Deposit refund deadline.  Students accepted to this program that cancel after this date will not have the deposit returned.
  • March 9 - April 16, 2018: Students that cancel within these dates are responsible for the $400 deposit.
  • April 2, 2018: Full payment deadline.
  • April 17 - 30, 2018: Students that cancel between these dates are responsible for 50 percent of the cost of the program.
  • May 1 - 17, 2018: Students that cancel between these dates are responsible for 75 percent of the cost of the program.  
  • As of May 18, 2018: Students that cancel are responsible for the full program cost.

Note: You are responsible for the costs noted above if you cancel regardless of whether you have paid the program fees at the time of cancellation.

Deposit Refunds - If you have paid the deposit and are cancelling your participation prior to the deposit refund deadline, the amount will remain as a credit on your account to be applied towards the following semester’s billing. If you have any questions about your deposit, you may contact the Bursar’s office at or 336-278-5300.

*All students are automatically enrolled in a travel insurance policy through iNext, an outside insurance provider. This policy covers students who must cancel their participation due to serious issues of physical health to the student or an immediate family member (parent or grandparent) that occur after April 1. In some instances (evaluated on a case-by-case basis) the travel insurance may insure against changes in mental health. The insurance does not cover any other changes in circumstances such as disciplinary or academic status; job, internship, graduate school or theatrical performance opportunities; leadership opportunities on campus; fear; other personal issues. Students who must cancel their participation after the final day to have the $400 deposit refunded may be able to seek a refund through the travel insurance company.

If airline bookings have already been made by the time of a student's cancellation, some airlines may issue the student a voucher for the value of the ticket less some penalty fee for change in ticketing. These are usually valid for 12 months with the airline issuing the ticket. The airline can provide specific details.

If you have any questions regarding this policy, please contact Woody Pelton, Dean of International Programs. We encourage you to address any questions you may have as soon as possible, as a delay in doing so could result in increased charges for which you may be liable.


Summer 2018 budget is available now.

Scholarships/Travel Grants

GEC Access Scholarships are designed to help provide access for all undergraduate students to participate in an Elon-approved Global Engagement (study abroad or Study USA) program. The application for a GEC Access Scholarship is a questionnaire embedded in the outgoing program application--there is no external application.  Please see the GEC Access Scholarship brochure for information on eligibility, conditions, and notification. 

For additional information on scholarships or other funding for global engagement, see the Financial Planning for Global Study page.

Students can apply for summer financial aid through Elon University in person in the Office of Financial Planning in the spring semester. Summer financial aid applications are due May 1.  

If you qualify for a travel grant through any of the fellows or scholars programs, see the appropriate program director for more information on how to apply the grant to your global engagement program. Visit the Deadlines and Events Calendar for travel grant deadlines.

Additional Links

Read blog posts from students on this program in years past and access blogs for Faculty-led programs on the Study Abroad Blog.

Connect with the GEC, global engagement alumni, and prospective students on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. And keep in touch with us using #ElonGlobal! 

Contact Global Ambassadors to learn more from global engagement alumni. Global Ambassadors are GEC student representatives that have participated in one or more study abroad or Study USA programs and have been trained to help you prepare for your own global engagement. They are looking forward to hearing from you!

For More Information

Program Leader 1: Tina Das
Department of Economics
CB 2075, KOBC 132

Program Leader 2: Mark Kurt
Department of Economics
CB 2075, KOBC 134

Isabella Cannon Global Education Center
Global Commons 360
2375 Campus Box
Elon, NC 27244
336-278-6700 (phone)
336-278-6692 (fax)

Japan rising sun photo 2

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2018 03/01/2018
Rolling Admission 06/04/2018 06/30/2018

Applications due by 11:59 PM on March 1. Completed applications will be reviewed within two weeks of submission.

To guarantee consideration for a GEC Access Scholarship for this program, you must submit the application questionnaire "Apply for a GEC Access Scholarship" by February 15. Scholarship questionnaires submitted after this date are not guaranteed consideration and will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applications will be reviewed on a space-available basis and applicants will be notified of their application status within two weeks of submission.

Indicates that deadline has passed

This program is currently not accepting applications.