2011 Heiskell Award Honorable Mention: Study Abroad

Japan Center for Michigan Universities

Intensive Language Study in Japan

Nomination submitted by: Kate E. Simon, Program Coordinator

Program Overview
The Japan Center for Michigan Universities (JCMU) was established in 1989 as a consortium of fifteen public universities in Michigan seeking to create a more sustainable and successful study abroad experience in Japan for Michigan students. Working with Michigan's sister-state, Shiga Prefecture, the universities created a facility in Hikone, Japan to build instructional capacity in Japanese language, history, religion, politics, geography, health care, environmental studies, and cultural studies.

Drawing from 15 Michigan universities, JCMU enrolls students from across the state who might otherwise have few international experiences. "It is a portal to Japanese language education, experience, knowledge and inspiration," says Michael A. Boulus, Executive Director of the Presidents Council, State Universities of Michigan. "Over 2,400 alumni have returned from JCMU with memories, stories, new language skills and a new attitude about the world."

The expansion of the program over the years has been marked by efforts to increase inclusiveness. In 1999, JCMU developed a culture/career hybrid curriculum model for non-language-intensive students, creating a balance of traditional language education and professional opportunity for students interested in science, health, technology and business. After an extensive review, JCMU implemented revised disability protocols and admitted its first quadriplegic student in 2008. Finally, the program's low cost encourages representation from diverse socioeconomic groups: JCMU remains one of the few Japanese study abroad programs that offer a full semester (16-week) program for less than $10,000.

Program Implementation 
Read the winning nomination, including details on how the program achieves its objectives

2017 Awards Presentation

IIE will present the annual IIE Andrew Heiskell Awards for Best Practices in Internationalization at a ceremony in Miami, Florida on March 14, 2017, as part of the Annual Best Practices in Internationalization Conference.

Selection Panel Members 2011

The members of the selection panel for this year’s awards include the following leaders in international education:

Ulrich Baer
Vice Provost for Globalization & Multicultural Affairs, New York University

Maria Harper-Marinick
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, Maricopa Community Colleges

Arlene Jackson
Director of International Education, American Association of State Colleges & Universities (AASCU)

Donna Scarboro
Associate Vice President, International Programs, The George Washington University

Brian Whalen
President and CEO, The Forum on Education Abroad