Japanese Religion and Culture Seminar

Experience the rich religious and cultural life of Japan! Students will visit temples, shrines, lay Buddhist movements and museums, and attend lectures by Dr. Stephen Covell, Japanese scholars and others. The tour will be led by Covell, who lived in Japan for 10 years where he worked as a translator, studied to be a Buddhist priest, and conducted research on contemporary Japanese religions. Covell has drawn on his experience and contacts in Japan to put together a unique behind-the-scenes tour of Japanese religious life for students.


Included costs

  • Tuition for three credit hours and fees
  • Hotel accommodations
  • Temple home-stays
  • Train travel within Japan
  • Some meals
  • Health insurance
  • Visits to religious and cultural sites

Non-included costs

  • Airfare to and from Japan
  • Most meals
  • Passport
  • Personal expenses

Financial aid

Western Michigan University students who are eligible for federal or state financial aid can use their awards for studying abroad. After a student has been accepted to the program, required paperwork must be completed with the financial aid staff in order to apply financial aid to the program costs. It is the student’s responsibility to complete the paperwork prior to departure and to maintain compliance with financial aid regulations while studying abroad.

2021 Japanese Religion and Culture Study Abroad Seminar

The Japanese Religion and Culture Study Abroad Seminar will be offered again in 2021.

The program will be split into two parts to make more affordable options. The first part is the original two-week three credit-hour course that centers around the home base Zojoji in downtown Tokyo. The second part includes Kyoto, Hiroshima and Miyajim. Contact Dr. Steve Covell if you or someone you know is interested in the program. Non-WMU students may be accepted.


For applications, dates and more information, contact Dr. Stephen Covell.

Applications are also available from the Study Abroad office.


Information about courses and places visited on past trips: