KAKEHASHI Project Japanese Study Tour

Photo of a traditional Japanese style house by a forested lake with the words, Japan Study Tour: The Kakehashi Project

OverviewImportant Dates | Funding and Costs | Requirements | Sample Program Schedule 

Note:  The KAKEHASHI Project is offered through the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which offers a selection of programs to different universities each year. The University of Montana is not hosting a KAKEHASHI project for the 2018-2019 school year, but we hope to continue our collaboration with the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in future years.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and the Japan Foundation selected the University of Montana and the Mansfield Center to participate in the KAKEHASHI Project grant. The program sent 23 undergraduate or graduate students from Montana to Japan for a week-long guided business, culture and policy program, and is run by the Japan International Cooperation Center. This opportunity exposed students to Japan’s rich culture, history, society, politics, and economics. The group was joined by other university students from the United States and across the world in Tokyo and another region to participate in this international education program.  Travel dates were March 5 - 13, 2018.

Learn more about by the program by reading blog posts from last year's participants! UMT Kakehashi 2016 Blog.

If you have any questions about the program, please email Caitlin Sager at caitlin.sager@mso.umt.edu.

Program Overview

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan launched the “Japan’s Friendship Ties Programs” to promote people-to-people exchanges between Japan and countries across the world and to encourage an understanding of Japan’s economy, society, history, diverse culture, politics and diplomatic relations among participants. The North American regional component of this exchange program is called “The KAKEHASHI Project”. 

This opportunity is designed for adventurous and mature students who have a serious interest in business or Asia, but have not studied or traveled in Japan for an extended period. The trip will include meetings with government/business officials, culture tours and walking tours, lectures on Japanese society, and the opportunity to travel in Japan, including in Tokyo and to other prefectures. The program may include visits to farms and a rural prefectures.  

The tour is open to students of all majors and backgrounds, but priority will be given to students with a demonstrated interest in business and/or Japanese language and culture. No academic credit is provided by the program.


The KAKEHASHI Project is designed to support the following objectives:

  1. To promote mutual trust and understanding among the people of Japan and the USA to build a basis for future friendship and cooperation.

  2. To promote a global understanding of Japan’s economy, society, history, diverse culture, politics and foreign policy. 

  3. To disseminate information on Japan’s attractions through social media and other communication platforms.

All participants are expected to support these program goals.

Important Dates

There is currently no KAKEHASHI Project hosted by the University of Montana.

Program Funding and Costs

The following expenses were paid for by the program sponsor:

  • Round trip international airfare from Missoula, Montana to and from Japan (economy class)
    • Excess baggage fees are the participant's responsibility
  • Accommodation in Japan (rooms will be shared with one or two other students of the same gender)
  • Meals in Japan within the Program
  • Transportation and admission fees for scheduled activities in Japan

Participants were responsible for all other costs, including:

  • Passport fees
  • Vaccinations
  • Excess baggage
  • GeoBlue Travel Insurance (applied for through the Mansfield Center, total cost $23.90)

Program Requirements


The program is open to University of Montana applicants from all majors, but the primary focus is on business in Japan.

The program is open to University of Montana applicants from all majors, but the primary focus is on business in Japan.

Applicants must meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Be enrolled in the College of Business
  • Be studying Japanese language and/or culture
  • Have a demonstrated interest in Japan

Priority will be given to applicants who meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Are enrolled in the College of Business
  • Have been involved in study, research, or activities related to Japan or Japanese language/culture for over 1 year
  • Have been involved in business related to Japan or Japanese products/services for over 1 year

In addition, all applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Have had little to no travel and/or study abroad experience in Japan and have not visited Japan through any Japanese government sponsored invitation program
  • Must have a passport valid through the program dates or must have applied for an expedited passport
  • Enrolled in the University of Montana
  • US citizen or US permanent resident (special stipulations for U.S. permanent residents apply)
  • Understand the program goals and be willing to complete post-program questionnaires and share overseas experience and relevant post-program activities through social media as well as blogging, report writing and/or public programs
  • Be a responsible team player willing to travel in large groups who is adventurous, willing to try new foods and cultural experiences, respectful to foreign cultures, and has a strong desire to promote intercultural understanding

Japanese Health Entry Requirements:

Participants who are running a temperature greater than 100.4 F on the day of departure will not be allowed to travel to Japan. Participants with the following symptoms will be evaluated by supervisors (in consultation with a doctor if necessary) to determine if they may travel to Japan or not: feeling feverish or chill, sore throat, cough, stuffy or runny nose, headache or muscle ache.

Program Rules

Once Accepted into the Program:

Certain paperwork is required by the KAKEHASHI Project sponsors shortly after applicants are accepted into the program.

If an applicant is accepted into the program or waitlist, they must confirm their participation and provide the Mansfield Center with 1) the required paperwork provided with their acceptance letter, including a completed KAKEHASHI Project entry form, a photo of the participant, and a signed letter of understanding; and 2) the student health form by January 17.

All forms may be submitted electronically for students who are traveling during the winter break, though hard copies will be due once the semester starts. Applicants who do not confirm their participation and provide these materials may lose their place in the program.

During the Program, Participants Must:

  • Attend all the programs planned by JICE and follow the instructions given by JICE
    Complete all pre-departure forms and paperwork for both the University of Montana and the KAKEHASHI Project
  • Complete the questionnaire sent to participants at the end of the program and three months after the program
  • Obey all Japanese laws while in Japan
  • Submit two blog entries on my experiences to the Mansfield Center program blog, one during the program and one after my return, and share my findings and experiences with family, friends, schools and communities through social media and presentations, blogging, and other forms of communication.

During the Program, Participants May Not:

  • Change flights designated by the program
  • Change accommodation designated by the program
  • Be accompanied by someone
  • Travel to third countries on the way to Japan or back to the USA

After the Program, Participants Must:

  • Return to the U.S. on the scheduled group flight. Participants may not remain in Japan after the program
  • Complete the questionnaires sent to participants at the end of ht eprogram and three months after the program
  • Share their experiences in Japan with their family, friends, schools, and communities

Participants that do not follow these rules or cause hindrance to the program may be dismissed and are responsible for leaving Japan at their own expense.