PAAC’s Freeman Summer Study Tour returns to Japan in 2019!

Applications are open until December 21 – scroll down to apply!


Visit Tokyo, Hiroshima, Kyoto and more on PAAC’s voyage across Japan. Participants on this study tour will deepen their understanding of the many paradoxes within one nation; the coexistence of cutting edge technology with deeply ingrained traditions, bustling global megacities and steady, quiet life in the countryside…


“Before this trip I would never step foot into water that I couldn’t see the bottom of. I always needed to be assured before I dive in. Yet while in Japan a reoccurring lesson I’ve learned is that the safe route isn’t always the best one and that endeavoring into the unknown may open doors to opportunities that you never knew existed.”



School Exchange & Homestays

Homestays and school visits are always a part of our study tours to Japan, guaranteeing a chance to make new friendships that can last a lifetime.


“This really pushed me to my limit for I never really had faith in my communication skills, especially in Japanese. Yet this homestay changed that. I can’t describe the relief and sense of accomplishment I felt after speaking essentially only Japanese for two days. My host family encouraged my Japanese and were always so patient with me. This is definitely a experience that will be tattooed into my mind. It has also caused me to want to partake in more international trips much like this one and study abroad when I am in college, too.”

History & Tradition

Castles, shrines, temples, zen lessons, tea ceremony, traditional inns with onsen (hot springs) baths, and more — the study tour to Japan is an immersive experience into one of the world’s most renowned and admired cultures.


“It was really interesting to see how the religions mixed so well together and how that was displayed in the architecture of the temples and shrines. Every place we visited had an aura of tranquility and peace. It was truly a sight to see that was extremely different from American beauty.”


Modern Culture & Technology

Dive into the exciting and vibrant youth culture of Harajuku and Shibuya before seeing the startling advances in technology being made daily at the Miraikan. Catch a game at the local stadium, and devour the latest trends in food, fashion, and fun!





Current and Past Issues

Understand the legacy of past tragedies on modern society by visiting historically significant places across Japan. Students will visit Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Museum, and while it’s still possible, hear the testimony of a survivor of the atomic bombing in 1945. Visits to the Japanese National Diet and U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, and the Migration Museum and Earthquake Memorial Museum in Kobe shed light on the many complex issues Japan has, and will continue to, face.



 “We all learn about World War II in school but we rarely get the personal accounts of someone who actually survived a catastrophic event. Listening to her made me rethink my American history classes. Sure we learned the facts like the number of fatalities and cities hit but we never went into the stories of the victims. I guess instead of focusing on the past that I can’t change I should be focusing on the future. I should be taking the stories I learned today and share them and spread awareness, just like Keiko.”


Make a Difference

Students on the 2016 Summer Study Tour raised $4,950 to be donated to the Mutsumi-En Nursing Home, which cares for survivors of the bombings in Hiroshima, as well as the Japan Earthquake Relief Fund, which helps victims of natural disasters such as the earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011.

 “The younger generation should love and care for the elderly. Instead of thinking that they can no longer contribute to society, think about how their sacrifices opened up the doors to our countless possibilities.”




Tentative dates: Approximately two weeks in June 2019. There will also be a mandatory pre-trip orientation for students between June 3 – 7, 2019.

Eligibility: Students enrolled in grades 9-12 who attend high school in Hawaii. (Public, private, charter, and home-school students are all eligible.)

Trip Description: The goals of the Pacific and Asian Affairs Council (PAAC) travel program are to further students’ international interests through a meaningful experience abroad and to build bridges between our group and the local people we meet, strengthening the relationship between countries on a personal level. Students will explore Japanese history, culture, and modern society in Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima, and more. Meet and interact with local students and families, as well as international, diplomatic, and innovative business entities.

Program cost: $4,000. Price includes all program related expenses such as international airfare, in-country transportation, accommodation, meals, activities, travel insurance, and entry fees, and does not cover personal expenses such as laundry, communication, snacks, and souvenirs. Interisland airfare is not included.

Scholarships: Public and charter high school students in Hawaii are eligible for full to partial program scholarships from the Freeman Foundation. In the last five years, over 85% of participants have received scholarships for this program. Preference is given to students with demonstrated financial need who participate in PAAC Clubs, After School Classes, or events. Applicants must fill out the relevant questions on this application. Applicants who are offered a scholarship must submit documentation to support their application before the scholarship will be awarded. The scholarship cannot be used to pay for the trip deposit.


Apply Now:

Click HERE for the Online Application

Download the Paper Application Form

Parental Consent Form

Teacher Recommendation Form

Program Flyer


See footage from PAAC’s 2016 Freeman Summer Japan Study Tour here: Japan 2016 Short Documentary