In DC, no country inspires such a high level of student interest and at the same time such a wealth of local resources, expertise, and experience than Japan. We’ve found so many young people in all parts of the city who are fanatics about manga, anime, otaku culture, J-pop, J-rock, video gaming, martial arts, haiku, and other aspects of Japanese culture. DC has a long history of connection with Japan – most famously, the Cherry Blossom Festival and the Embassy of Japan.
Yet formal free programming on Japan for DC students has been virtually non-existent. No Japanese is currently taught in DC public schools. We feel this gives Globalize DC both the imperative and the opportunity to develop new programming that begins to address this untapped student interest – to build knowledge of Japan and Japanese specifically, global awareness and global competence more generally, and pipelines to college and careers for those students who are inspired to seriously pursue their interest in Japan beyond high school.
Our interest in Japan has allowed us to test new approaches to how we implement our core strategies – specifically, in developing new student programming that taps into a large community of partners and creates access for students at public schools (DCPS and charter) across the city and across sectors. We are very grateful to our major funders – US-Japan Council and US-Japan Foundation – and our major partner – American Councils in International Education — who have given us the opportunity to create these popular programs.
Since 2013, Globalize DC has served as the local DC partner on the TOMODACHI US-Japan Youth Exchange Program (USJYEP), managed by American Councils. Each year, a group of DC public school students has been selected to participate in a two-way, fully funded cultural exchange between DC and Japan. The exchange focuses on cross-cultural understanding, leadership development, social change, and social entrepreneurship. For more information, refer for our TOMODACHI page on this website.
And for a more comprehensive understanding, go directly to the TOMODACHI USJYEP website at www.usjapanfuture.org.
Starting in October 2016, Globalize DC launched Japanese Plus, a new free afterschool Japanese language,culture, and career exposure program open to DCPS and DC charter high school students across the city. Twenty-two students from nine (9) different schools meet twice a week at Columbia Heights Education Campus through the school year. To learn more, refer to the Japanese Plus page on this website. Even better, check out our new Japanese Plus website at www.japaneseplus.org.
“Japan In DC” (upcoming)
Globalize DC will soon announce a new free six-week summer program in DC, called Japan in DC, open to DCPS and DC charter high school students.
Ways to Get Involved
To learn more about our Japan programs, sign up for our newsletter and be sure to check the box for our special Japan updates.
We also accept donations earmarked for our Japan programs. Click here to donate.
If you are interested in volunteering for our school-year Japanese Plus program, please fill out our online Japanese Plus Volunteer Interest Form.