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New Program in Japan for A-State's Study Abroad Students


JONESBORO – A new interdisciplinary degree program with one of Japan’s national universities opens the door for Arkansas State University students to study abroad for two years and earn two undergraduate degrees.

Chancellor Kelly Damphousse announced the program with Saitama University of Japan will begin enrolling students in the upcoming fall 2018 semester.

“Students are seeking opportunities to broaden their horizons, and what better way than immersive study abroad programs,” Damphousse said.  “By deepening our relationship with Saitama we are providing a pathway for Japanese students to come to America and gain valuable knowledge.  At the same time, we are offering a unique opportunity for an interdisciplinary student from Arkansas to achieve a global perspective.”

The five-year agreement between Saitama and A-State establishes a cooperative program model for majors in interdisciplinary studies at Arkansas State and liberal arts at SU.  The undergraduate degree becomes a “2+2” program that requires participants to spend two years at the respective campuses.

Graduates from the cooperative program receive degrees from both Arkansas State and Saitama, making this similar to the poultry science arrangement between the A-State College of Agriculture and the University of Arkansas.

As one of the members of the National University Cooperative of Japan, Saitama is located in the suburban area of Sakura-ku northeast of Tokyo.  Arkansas State and SU have conducted study abroad student exchanges during the summer the past two years.

The ASU System Board of Trustees approved the program earlier this year in its March meeting, and Damphousse traveled to Saitama to participate in a signing ceremony in late May.

Arkansas State has agreements with universities in several countries for exchange and study abroad, but this is the first of this kind with a national university in Japan.

Students interested in the program are encouraged to contact the executive director of international programs Thilla Sivakumaran at tsivakumaran@AState.edu.

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Saitama Agreement Signing Ceremony
Dr. Kelly Damphousse (left), Chancellor, and Dr. Hiroki Yamaguchi, President, Saitama University