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Japanese at Carthage


Target Language Experts

At Carthage, introductory language courses are taught by native speakers. The College hires graduate students from around the world to come to Carthage to share their language and culture. These Target Language Experts bring an energy and authenticity to modern language courses, giving students new to a language a vibrant and exciting introduction.
Learn more about the TLE Program

Modern Language Scholarship

Carthage offers two Japanese scholarships to each incoming class. The scholarships cover $20,000 per year and are renewable for four years.
Learn more about the Modern Language Scholarships

Japanese students have multiple opportunities to apply for various scholarships to support for their study abroad in Japan. The following are some of the scholarships Japanese students won in recent years:

  • Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship
  • University Recommendation Japanese Government Scholarship
  • Bridging Scholarship by American Association of Teachers of Japanese
  • The USAC (University Studies Abroad Consortium) General Scholarship

Field Trips

Students on a field trip to the Japanese supermarket Mitsuwa.Students on a field trip to the Japanese supermarket Mitsuwa. The Japanese program organizes field trips every semester to the Japanese Supermarket Mitsuwa, the Kikkoman Factory or the Japanese Garden at the Chicago Botanic Garden. In addition to being learning experiences, these trips also give students a chance to interact informally and practice their language skills.


J-Term is a month-long period of study in Janaury in which the academic departments at Carthage offer innovative course on-campus and study tours around the world. Professors from various departments such as History, Politics and Economics who are specialized or interested in Japanese society may lead field trips to Japan. The trips provide students opportunities to have direct contact with Japanese people and culture.

Study Abroad

Study abroad enables students to become international citizens as they explore Japan in depth, build language skills, and experience Japanese culture. Living with a Japanese family, taking courses, and participating in a cultural practicum/internship offer different windows for experiencing and understanding the complex society of contemporary Japan.

Students majoring in Japanese are required to study abroad for at least one semester. Carthage has a regular exchange program with Tokyo Gakugei University, and Carthage students may study there or at another Japanese university of their choice. The exchange program with Tokyo Gakugei University allows up to three students from Carthage to enroll at Tokyo Gakugei University; in turn, Tokyo Gakugei University may send up to three of their qualified students to study at Carthage each year.

Japanese Speech and Performance Contest

Since 2008, the Japanese program at Carthage has hosted the Carthage Japanese Speech and Performance Contest. This is an opportunity for students in the Japanese program to present their Japanese oral skills and express themselves in Japanese. In addition to formal speeches, students also present Japanese songs, skits, dances, Karate, and more.

Japanese Student Fellowship

A Japanese service fellow is selected each year who assists in organizing Japanese activities/events and receives a stipend.

Japanese Club

Japanese Club is a student-run organization that hosts meetings and events for students interested in Japan. It provides opportunities for students to further expand their knowledge of Japan and its culture outside of class. But most all, we have fun! We enjoy the time together watching Japanese anime, playing games, learning Japanese songs, and talking about Japan.

Japanese TLEs teaching students how to make sushi and okonomiyaki.Japanese TLEs teaching students how to make sushi and okonomiyaki.

Service learning

Advanced students of Japanese may volunteer to give Japanese language lesson once a week in local elementary schools.

Japanese Lunch Table

The Japanese Lunch Table meets regularly in the Carthage cafeteria. Students chat with each other in Japanese and with professors, TLEs, and exchange students from Japan.

  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2021), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • The Tower, Carthage’s newest residence hall, provides some of the best views on campus — if not in the Midwest! In addition to #carthageviews of the lake from seven stories up, residents enjoy suite-style living and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about all housing options.

    • You’re going to need brain fuel. Grab a morning coffee and a snack and Starbucks or Einstein Bros. Bagels. Later, meet friends at “The Caf,” where the specials change daily but the staples are constant, or swing through “The Stu” for wings, a burrito, or a sub. A new option, Carthage Cash, even covers some off-campus meals.

    • More than 90% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit The Aspire Center.

    • 91% of employers say critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills matter more than your major when it comes to career success. Learn more about how the liberal arts prepare you for a successful career.

    • Lots of schools wear the four-year label. Carthage stands behind it. More than 90% of Carthage graduates earn their degrees in four years. Learn more

    • Oscars. Emmys. Tonys. Golden Globes. The playwrights we’ve brought in have them. Each year, the Carthage Theatre Department commissions an original script by a renowned playwright for its New Play Initiative. Carthage students then work with the writer to stage it. 

    • Carthage has ranked as a top Fulbright producer for four of the past five years. Read about Carthage Fulbright winners.

    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our science center, student union, athletic and recreation center, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 15 years.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors, and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from marketing to neuroscience, nursing to music theatre.

    • Our Summer Undergraduate Research Experience offers select students a research budget, one-on-one mentoring with a professor, and 10 weeks of analyzing, deciphering — and getting paid.

    • So the lake is kind of a focal point, but there’s a lot more to love about our campus — like the fact that our more than 80-acre campus is also an arboretum and wildlife sanctuary. Focused on keeping campus lush forever, we plant between 50 and 75 new trees every year from a variety of species.

    • Carthage was founded in 1847. That’s more than 170 years of leaders, makers, and go-getters going out and going forth. Read more about Carthage’s rich history.

    • More than 90 percent of students receive financial aid. Carthage awards more than $20 million in scholarship and grant assistance. That includes $5.5 million in competitive scholarships in business, mathematics, science, languages, the fine arts, leadership, and overall academic strength. Learn what’s available.

    • Abraham Lincoln was an early Trustee of the College, and U.S. Secretary of State John Hay was a Carthage alum. The two still have a proud place on our campus. Spend some time with them in our Sesquicentennial Plaza. On warm days you’ll find professors leading their classes here.

    • Come to Carthage; hear yourself think — think … think …
      Legend has it that Sesquicentennial Plaza holds a perfect echo. Just stand with both your feet on the “1847,” face Straz, and start talking. “You’re the only one who can hear you, but you’ll be crystal clear,” promises English and theatre alumna Mikaley Osley.

    • Our Great Lake provides Carthage students with some amazing views. Think classes on the beach, lake views from the lab, and sunrises from your dorm room. “I love waking up in the morning with the sun shining off the lake. Nothing compares to the view in the morning,” recalls biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

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    • For a full decade, NASA has selected Carthage students to conduct research aboard its zero-gravity aircraft. Lately, the stakes have risen. A team of underclassmen is grinding to prepare a tiny but powerful Earth-imaging satellite for launch to the International Space Station. Learn more about the space sciences at Carthage

    • Carthage is the only college or university in the Midwest where every freshman takes a full-year sequence of foundational texts of the Western intellectual tradition. Learn about Intellectual Foundations.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 13:1, your professors will know who you are. They will also know who you want to be — and how to get you there. Meet our faculty.

    • There are more than 130 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Fencing to Frisbee, Chem Club to Stand Up Comedy. See how easy it is to get involved.

    • True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Some highlights: The nationally recognized Racine Art Museum, the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more about our location.

    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked in the Top 5 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …