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  • Locations: Hiroshima, Japan; Kyoto, Japan; Osaka, Japan; Tokyo, Japan
  • Program Terms: Spring Break
  • Restrictions: DPU applicants only
  • Click for Tuition + Program Fee: Spring Break
  • Dates / Deadlines
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Program Type: Short-term Academic Level: Graduate, Undergraduate
Recommended GPA: 2.5 Living Arrangements: Hotel
Language of Instruction: English Prerequisite: None
Liberal Studies Domain: EL, Global Business Perspective Study Abroad Contact: Elizabeth Hall
How COVID-19 could impact this program or your study abroad plans: Please see the Study Abroad COVID-19 page for more information.
Program Description:
Japan skyline

The objectives of the Japan seminar are to provide students with an understanding of changes that are occurring in the Japanese business environment. These changes are most notable in small and medium-size firms (SMEs). Large traditional Japanese companies seem secure in operating and sustaining their customary corporate cultural behavior, which tracks closely with Japanese national cultural characteristics. SMEs are moving in a direction that is opening fissures between businesses and institutional hierarchies. SMEs are circumventing traditional policies between industry, government, and politics. The seminar will focus on SMEs and their drive to accelerate into the 21st century behind smart, unconventional, strategies and partnerships and local-community leadership.

During the seminar, students will be exposed to the traditional Japan national culture juxtaposed against a new paradigm of industry innovation and entrepreneurship. Students will visit both large traditional firms as well as non-traditional entrepreneurial SME firms involved in product and process innovations across several industry sectors.

Students will be given the opportunity to examine Japan's changing macro-environment (political, economic, cultural and demographics), and a fledgling new micro-environment in several different urban centers outside of Tokyo (e.g., Osaka, Kyoto, and Nara). In addition, students will have the opportunity to visit a university to meet and exchange perspectives with Japanese students and faculty.


The Program Director is Dr. Zafar Iqbal has led over 15 study-abroad programs to India, Japan, Oman and Dubai. Over the past 9 years, he has taken over 200 students and faculty to Japan and India. He has worked with numerous Asian, European, and American companies on business strategy and international expansion. At DePaul, he is the Associate Director for Indian Initiatives and is responsible for DePaul’s strategy in India. He co-directs the Honors Marketing program for undergraduates and teaches graduate level courses on marketing strategy, new product development and advanced consumer insights.

**Prior to selection, students need to schedule an interview with the faculty directors.
There will be four mandatory pre-trip class meetings and one post-trip class meeting. The purpose of the pre-trip meetings is to provide students with the following information:
Course ICS 350 (Undergraduate)/ IB 750 (Graduate): International Business Seminar
Credits 4 credit hours
Term registered Winter 2021
Liberal Studies Domains: Global Business Perspective or Experiential Learning (EL)
Taught by Dr. Zafar Iqbal
Course description This foreign study course is meant to introduce the student to the world of international life and business as it is today. The course provides students the opportunity to visit and study foreign commercial enterprises on-site. Additional emphasis is placed on understanding overseas cultures, self-reference criteria, and the fact that people around the world can maintain/develop hopes and dreams within their own lifestyle even though it may differ from others'.
Dates: TBD
Please note that although some courses are registered in a particular term, some coursework or final assignments may be due in a different term. E.g. Course registered in winter quarter, but coursework is due in spring quarter once the travel component of the program is complete.

Hotel accommodations are double occupancy except in Kyoto. In Kyoto, students stay in a traditional Japanese inn with triple/quad rooms.

All students participating in study abroad will be charged both tuition (billed at the regular DePaul tuition rate, based on the number of credits enrolled) and a program fee. Please read the program fee details carefully to understand exactly what is included, as this can vary from program to program. If the program fee is posted, be sure to note whether the fee is current or from a previous year (past program fees may serve as a guide until the current program fee is available). If the current program fee has not yet been posted, please check back closer to the application deadline. Please also note the withdrawal policy.

DePaul offers several types of scholarships for students studying abroad, and students should visit the scholarship page early in the application process for information on eligibility and deadlines.


DePaul Study Abroad is carefully monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic, and this program is currently moving forward. If the program is canceled prior to departure, students will be refunded 100% of the program fee and withdrawn from any associated classes with no penalty or tuition charges. Study Abroad has also modified the standard Withdrawal Policy, and any students who commit to this program and decide to withdraw 90+ days prior to the program start date will not be charged any withdrawal fees. For more information, go to the DePaul Study Abroad COVID-19 Updates page.

Study Abroad requires a valid US passport or a valid 3rd country foreign passport (students with a foreign passport may be required to obtain an entry visa for Japan). Foreign students applying to participate in the Japan Business Seminar are required to verify their visa requirement with their home-country consulate. Please note that visa requirements may change at the discretion of the visiting host-country. Students applying for Study Abroad are required to verify visa requirements, no exceptions.

Here are some helpful tips from former students who have participated in this program:
  • Study the country's culture and customs before visiting. Being knowledgable of their social norms, transportation systems, weather, food etiquette, and basic phrases in the native language will enrich your experience greatly.
  • Be sure to have a general understanding of where you are going and how to get there (i.e. knowing the train line you'll be taking and how many stops you'll be riding it for) in case you are temporarily separated from your group.
  • Get to know the other students going abroad on the trip, as forging bonds with your fellow students will allow for a more meaningful experience.
  • Japan is very crowded and can be confusing, so try not to travel alone or become separated from the group.
  • Talk with the professor if you have any questions or concerns regarding your time abroad--they are there to help you!
  • Be aware and respectful of the culture around you.
  • Be sure to stay hydrated as you'll do a lot of walking around.
  • Completing the mandatory reading will be extremely helpful for your experience, so don't neglect it!

If you have any questions about the student experience on this program, feel free to contact any of the following DePaul students who have participated:  

DePaul University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, or handicap in admissions, employment, or the provision of services. Inquiries regarding this policy should be addressed to the Director of Human Resources, 1 East Jackson Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60604.

Circumstances, such as an unexpected event abroad or a curriculum change, may require DePaul University to make changes to the program. DePaul University reserves the right to cancel or alter programs and courses without notice.

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Admissions Notification Date Start Date End Date
Spring Break 2021 11/01/2020 12/01/2020 03/17/2021 03/28/2021
NOTE: Please consider the program dates carefully. Due to the program travel dates, participants may miss final exams. Please make arrangements with your Winter Quarter professors as soon as possible if this will affect you.