2018 JACAC Student Forum Info

1Upcoming Forum: February 18-24, 2018 Hosted by J.F. Oberlin University, Tokyo, Japan


Location and Date
Conditions for Selection of Participants
How to Apply


The theme of this year’s Student Forum is: “The Crisis in the Humanities: Reconsidering the Studies of the Humanities in the Age of Technology and Innovation”.

Current global issues such as the rapid increase of the world’s population, climate change, limited natural resources, and inequity between the haves and the have-nots can be causes of conflict between nations or individuals. We often look to technological innovations to solve such global issues, and large sums of public and private funds are allocated to research in the fields of natural sciences and technology, which have the potential for life-changing breakthroughs that benefit everyone. On the contrary, skepticism toward the Humanities is on the rise. Post-secondary research in philosophy, literature, history, and other fields of the humanities have faced cuts in funding as the outcomes of their studies are often regarded as less practical than those of natural sciences, technology, or engineering. Is it really true that research in the Humanities is less useful and does not have much to offer our world?

We will work in groups to address issues and questions such as;

  1. Why is this phenomenon occurring both in Canada and Japan?
  2. What factors make the majority of people think that the humanities as not so important?
  3. Do the Humanities really face a crisis, or are they just changing their form and meaning?
  4. Can scientific thinking or innovative ideas be realized without the Humanities?
  5. Why do we need to study the subjects of humanities for world peace and security?
  6. What differences are there between the humanities and other fields (natural and social sciences, engineering, medicine, etc.) in terms of the ways they contribute to solving global issues?
  7. What can scholars and students in all disciplines do together to solve global issues?



With mixed-teams involving students from both Canadian and Japanese universities, the forum consists of the following:

  • Expert Lectures & discussions
  • Group work based on different topics
  • Pre-assignment to prepare for group work
  • Field trips around Tokyo
  • Final presentation at Canadian Embassy in Tokyo
  • Final individual report

This program is open to anyone with a general interest in the theme of “Crisis in the Humanities”. We welcome applications from students in all academic disciplines. Since all activities will be conducted in English, no prior knowledge of the Japanese language is necessary.


Location and Date

Hosted by J. F. Oberlin University  in Tokyo, Japan. The Forum will run from February 18-24, 2018. Students will be departing from Canada and Japan in order to arrive in Tokyo on February 17 (Saturday), and will depart the city on February 25 (Sunday). All travel plans to and from Tokyo will be arranged by the organizing committee of the Student Forum. Students are responsible for making the necessary arrangements for any missed classes, although letters of invitation to the Forum will be provided for any students who require one.


Schedule (Tentative)
February 16, 2018 Friday Canadian students depart
February 17, 2018 Saturday Canadian and Japanese students arrive, Welcome
February 18, 2018 Sunday Orientation, Lectures
February 19, 2018 Monday Lectures, Group work
February 20, 2018 Tuesday Fieldwork
February 21, 2018 Wednesday Group work, Preparation for presentation
February 22, 2018 Thursday Group work, Preparation for presentation
February 23, 2018 Friday Presentations, Closing Ceremony
February 24, 2018 Saturday Field trip
February 25, 2018 Sunday Students depart 


Conditions for Selection of Participants

Undergraduate students or graduate students enrolled in the JACAC member institutions are eligible to apply, though the preference will be given to senior undergraduate students. Successful applicants should demonstrate a strong academic performance, interest and experiences in extra-curricular activities, and be a good team-player.

They must fulfill all of the following requirements:

  • Approximately 14 participants each from Japan and Canada will be selected. (* As a rule, we recommend one participant and one alternate from each JACAC member institution.)
  • Proficient enough in English to prepare materials, participate in discussions, and deliver presentations
  • Highly motivated students who possess a strong interest in the applicable year’s forum theme. Prior to the forum, participants should prepare themselves for fruitful discussion by researching on a specific topic of their interest relevant to the main theme
  • Students with previous year’s academic score above JASSO GPA 2.0* will be prioritized.

How to Calculate GPA for JASSO

  • Be able to participate in all the planned activities of the forum
  • No withdrawal will be allowed after participants are selected. Students must fully understand the requirements and the details of the program before submitting their applications.
  • No extended stay in Japan beyond the duration of the forum is allowed.



Participation Fee: Free**
**Canadian students are required to pay 80,000 Yen for international air fee prior to the program. However this amount will be balanced out from the scholarship which will be provided on the first day (80,000 Yen per head).

The Japan-Canada Student Forum will cover the costs for:
  • Transportation to Tokyo and return

Participants from Canada: Transportation expenses from the nearest international airport to Narita or Haneda Airport and transportation expenses from Haneda or Narita Airport to the nearest international airport to where they embarked. (Extra leg room seats and seat selection are not included. luggage fee is included in the airfare.)

Participants from Japan: Transportation expenses (express train) from/to home city and  Tokyo

  • Accommodation expenses in Tokyo
Participants are responsible for the following expenses:
  • Meals
  • Local ground transportation expenses (home-airport return trip and Tokyo transits),
  • Incidental expenses at accommodation
  • Passport and Visa acquisition fees
  • Travel insurance


How to Apply
Canadian Students

Application deadline: Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Canadian students should submit the following to their own universities:

  • Complete application form
  • Original copy of academic transcript(s)
  • Statement of Intent; details include:
    • 500 words maximum
    • Please be sure to include the following points:
      • How will this program benefit you in your current academic program
      • Comment on any experience working in a team

Canadian Application Form (PDF)
Canadian Application Form (Word)

Japanese Students

Application Deadline: Please check your own university’s schedule (Application will start from the end of September)
Japanese Students should submit the following to their own universities

  • Complete application form
  • Original copy of academic transcript(s)
  • Other documents required by your own university (if any)

Japanese Application Form (PDF)
Japanese Application Form (Word)

Method of Selection

Review of documents by Japan-Canada Student Forum Committee


We thank all applicants for their interests; however, only those individuals selected for participation in the Forum will be contacted. The winners will be announced in early November by the Prince Takamado Japan Centre, University of Alberta.