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Waseda International Students at Earlham

A one-year exchange program for students from Waseda University, Tokyo

The Waseda International Students at Earlham (WISE) program at Earlham College is a one-year exchange program for students from Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan. Each year, Earlham welcomes 12 to 20 WISE students from Waseda for a year of thematic and language study. Thematic study focuses on the themes of American Cultural Studies and International Studies. Courses and program activities are designed to help students understand their experiences while in the United States and develop a deeper awareness of the United States in a global society.

WISE students enroll in English Language Learning (ELL) courses according to their needs. ELL courses are comprised of both WISE students and degree-seeking international students. The aim of all ELL classes is to prepare students for successful participation in regular academic courses. By Spring Semester, all students are expected to be enrolled in at least one regular academic class.

The WISE program also provides opportunities for students to participate in many aspects of American life. All student organizations and activities are open for WISE student participation. The ELL courses incorporate service learning, which facilitates students’ contact with members of the Richmond community. In addition, students can take advantage of excursions and trips organized during Earlham vacation periods by the International Programs Office. The experiential learning gained through participating in these activities is an important part of both the thematic and language study offered by the program. After Program completion, WISE students are eligible to work or volunteer in the U.S. for up to nine months. Earlham provides assistance in seeking and obtaining internships or volunteer positions for WISE students who pursue this opportunity.

It is our hope that through participating in Earlham’s WISE program, students will leave after their year of study with improved language skills and a greater understanding of themselves, U.S. culture and the world.

Special Learning Opportunities

Students become involved with the Richmond community through their ELL curriculum: service learning at a local organizations, visiting an outdoor historical museum, and learning about the U.S. through theatrical productions.

Students advance their language skills through conversation partners, use of the writing center, and tutors available for any ELL needs.

WISE students have the option to extend their stay in the U.S. and pursue internship opportunities.  In the past, Earlham WISE students have completed internships in Washington DC through the Washington Internship Institute, in Williamstown, Massachusetts with Institute for International Cooperation and Development and with other organizations throughout the U.S.

Students may apply for an off-campus May Term.


WISE students will improve their English reading, writing, listening and speaking skills.

Students will learn about and gain first hand experience in various institutions such as education, religion, health care and government institutions.

Many WISE students enter international companies after graduation.

Distinctively Earlham
Students are encouraged to participate fully in the Earlham College community. They regularly join sports teams or intramural sports, clubs, music groups and off-campus hiking or camping trips.
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