International Studies & Programs

K-12 and Community Programs

In addition to K‑12 resources, the Asian Studies center also offers two outreach programs: The Great Lakes Shiga High School Exchange Program and the Michigan-Shiga High School Exchange Program.

On-Campus Public Events

The Asian Studies Center holds many on-campus events throughout the year, including lectures, workshops, and film showings. The lectures focus on hot button and historical issues about Asia, and often times include panel and round table discussions by scholars from around the world and MSU faculty. The film showings include a wide variety of feature films and documentaries. The Asian Studies Center also occasionally holds regional, national, and international conferences.

For inquires about scheduling on-campus events contact Julie Hagstrom, jhagstro(at)

Outreach Events

The Center also has an outreach program. The Outreach program works with community colleges, libraries, and other organizations to increase awareness of Asian cultures and societies through educational activities.

Contact Jennifer Pippin, pippinj1(at), to schedule outreach events.

The Great Lakes Shiga High School Science Exchange Program

Shiga High School.pngThe Great Lakes Shiga High School Science Exchange Program brings together 16 current high school 10th and 11th graders in the U.S. from the Great Lakes area and from the Shiga Prefecture in Japan. The group will be led by a team of instructors in this rigorous water science program and cultural exchange featuring 10 days in the Great Lakes area followed by 10 days in the Lake Biwa/Shiga Prefecture area. This program includes an application process, pre-departure activities including an overnight group event on the campus of MSU, and post-exchange extension opportunities. Students must complete all of these steps in order to be accepted into the program. Application materials must be received before posted deadline for consideration. This program is generously funded by the Japan Foundation of New York and the MSU Asian Studies Center.

Contact Karen Klein, kleink14(at), for more information.

The Great Lakes Shiga Exchange Program flyer
The Great Lakes Shiga Exchange Program application

Michigan-Shiga High School Exchange Program

In 1990, the Michigan Department of Education and the Shiga Board of Education initiated the Michigan-Shiga Student Exchange Program. Since 2014 it's been operated by the Michigan Shiga Sister State Board and the Asian Studies Center.

Each year the program offers 15 high school students an opportunity to travel to Shiga Prefecture in late June/early July to live with a Japanese family for two weeks. During their home stay the Michigan students attend school, participate in cultural and family events, increase their awareness of the Japanese culture and build lifelong relationships.

In early September, the Michigan students welcome their Japanese host students to Michigan. During their two weeks in Michigan, the Japanese students also attend school and participate in school and family activities while experiencing the culture here and extending the bonds between the two families. Two English Language instructors accompany the Japanese students. The Michigan students are chaperoned by two experienced teachers who are members of the Michigan-Shiga Student Exchange Program Committee.

Contact the MSSSB president Kathee McDonald, mcdon288(at), for more information.