Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University


International Experience Program: Japan

Faculty of Arts and Education

Media Studies and Cultural Theory

Proposed 2019 program

Spend two weeks on a media studies cultural excursion to Japan studying the integration of art history in contemporary media.
You'll visit Saitama University to attend lectures and workshops on traditional Japanese theatre, art history, and their integration in modern contexts. Students will visit Tokyo, Hiroshima, Himeji (day trip), Miyajima (day trip) and Tomonoura.

Exploration of modern and historic sites and environments will show the contrast of cultural representation, built environment and modern living practices and its representation in media. Tokyo blends modernity with tradition, making for a unique megacity experience. Hiroshima, rebuilt after WWII, is an architectural snapshot of post-war Japan. Miyajima, a small island in the Hiroshima Prefecture, holds the iconic World Heritage listed Itsukushima Shrine. Himeji is a small suburban town that holds a faithfully preserved World Heritage listed castle, complete with outer walls and gardens. UNESCO lists it as the finest surviving example of 17th century Japanese castle architecture. Tomonoura is a small fishing village in the Hiroshima Prefecture, representing a quotidian older visual ideal of 'Japan'. The town actively works to preserve traditional structures and lifestyle. Apart from its popularity for live action filming, Tomonoura is known as an art reference in the environmental design of the Studio Ghibli feature Ponyo (2008), and as such provides a good space for assessment of real world to media interpretation.

Visits to theatres, design studios, museums, shrines, and heritage sites will enhance your cultural literacy, an understanding of traditional crafts, and the significance of protection and preservation of intangible cultural heritage. In particular you’ll undertake study of traditional theatre in Tokyo, and the representation of environment and cultural tropes in modern media both from and depicting Japan. You’ll be encouraged to undertake field research that connects to your study discipline, so that you can have a benefit that extends you practical and research skills.

The self-ticketing aspect of the placement will allow you the flexibility of exploring the beauty and culture of Japan at your leisure prior to and/or after the program completion. As your lecturer has spent a lot of time in Japan, your journey will include orientation to cultural norms and handy tips for independent travel. It is highly recommended to stay on after the trip to enjoy your new-found skills in navigating Japan with confidence!

This program is partially funded by the Australian Government's New Colombo Plan funding. CSU recognises the support of the Australian Government in providing targeted funds which have subsidised the cost of this program to students.

When: approximately 18 January - 4 February, 2019 (exact dates will be confirmed upon notification of successful application)

Number of places available: Maximum 13 places
This program will require minimum numbers to proceed.

Eligibility: You must be enrolled in one of the following degrees at the time of undertaking the program. You should also have room in your degree to receive academic recognition (as per the information below) for your participation in this program.

  • Bachelor of Creative Art and Design (with specialisations)
  • Bachelor of Stage and Screen (with specialisations)
  • Bachelor of Communications (Theatre Media)

Academic Information: On successful completion of the program you may eligible to receive academic recognition for CCI106 Communication and Creative Industries International Experience 1 or CCI107 Communication and Creative Industries International Experience 2. This will require payment of a subject tuition fee and satisfactory participation and completion of specified assessment items.

Financial Assistance: The advertised program cost for undergraduate students is based on the provision of financial subsidies from the Australian Government's New Colombo Plan (NCP) and the $450 Vice Chancellor Travel Grant. NCP eligibility is restricted to Australian Citizens enrolled in a CSU undergraduate degree and receiving academic recognition at the time of participating in the program. These subsidies are limited in number.

Other students may be able to receive a $450 subsidy through the Vice Chancellor Travel Grant. Eligibility is restricted to students enrolled in a CSU degree and receiving academic recognition for their participation in the program. International students must not be travelling to their country of residence on this program. This Grant is not paid directly to students but has already been deducted from the advertised program cost.

Students may also be eligible to receive financial assistance through the Australian Government's OS-HELP loan. OS-HELP is a loan available to eligible Commonwealth Supported students who want to undertake some of their study overseas. OS-HELP can be used for a range of expenses such as airfares, accommodation, and other travel or study expenses.

Eligibility for OS-HELP will be assessed once successful students are selected and is based on a number of criteria.  Acceptance into a CSU Global program does not guarantee eligibility for the loan. Please note, you cannot pay your program deposit through OS-HELP.

All funding associated with CSU Global programs (travel grants, scholarships, subsidies and loans) is linked to successful completion of academic and program expectations. Failure to meet these requirements may result in funding being revoked.

Refer to Global's Scholarships and Funding webpage for further information on OS-HELP.

Cost: Approximately $2300 (exact costs to be advised on notification of successful application)

Costs should include: In-country program fee, 21 day JR and Suica (¥1300 value) rail pass, accommodation (twin share), meals, some site seeing activities.

Costs do not include: CSU subject fees, airfares, travel insurance, visas (where applicable), passports, immunisations (if required), meals (approx $50AUD per day), additional in-country transport/sightseeing, recreational activities, souvenirs, gratuities and incidentals.

Please note: This is an individually ticketed program (students to organise and purchase their own flights, travel insurance, visas and passports)

Application Timeline: Continue to the bottom of this page for application link

  • Application closing date: applications closed
  • Successful students notified (email): within two weeks of application closing date
  • $1000 non-refundable payment date: within two weeks of notification of success
    (You MUST have obtained or be in the process of applying for your passport by this date - with a minimum of six month validity from the return date)
  • Full and final payment date: 02 December, 2018
  • pre-departure session: To be announced.

Further enquiries regarding the application process should be directed to: 

Alice Wood
CSU Global   
Charles Sturt University
Phone:  + 61 2 6338 4068

Further enquiries regarding the content of this program should be directed to:

Rachel Walls
Faculty of Arts and Education
Charles Sturt University
Phone: + 61 2 6933 2992

Indicative program outline:  (subject to change)
0Participants arrive in Tokyo - introductions and evening dinnerTokyo


AM: Tokyo orientation and morning walk
PM: Saitama University orientation
2Site visits: Shrines and cultural observances - Asakusa / Tokyo National MuseumTokyo
3Rest dayTokyo
4Site visit: Noh mask maker / Shibamata Taishakuten Temple / theatreTokyo
5Site visit: Meiji Jingu shrine visit, lectures, and ceremony / Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden / Seiji Togo Memorial Museum / theatreTokyo
6AM: Saitama University: writing clinic
PM: Mori museum
7AM: Saitama University (or city lecture): kabuki lecture
PM: Theatre visit
8AM: Travel to Hiroshima
PM: Peace Museum & Peace Park
Tokyo / Hiroshima
9Site visits: Hiroshima art museumsHiroshima
10Rest dayHiroshima
11Day trip: Himeji Castle, Koko-En Park, tea ceremony, MuseumsHiroshima
12Miyajima visit and Shodo lessonHiroshima
13Travel to Tomonoura: Turtle Island, Shrine visit Hiroshima / Tomonoura
14Rest day


15AM: Writing clinic
PM: Travel to Narita
Tomonoura / Narita
16Setsubun-e  at Naritasan Narita
17 Program concludes. Participants free to return home or continue travel Narita