Every year in August, the Monterey Institute hosts a group of about 40 undergraduate students from University of Shimane in Japan for a unique English language learning experience. Longtime MIIS Professor Tsuneo Akaha spearheaded the development of this four-week program, which places a strong emphasis on immersing the students in American culture.
The theme for the course changes every year; in 2012 the focus is on the environment, sustainability and social welfare. As reported in the feature article “Japanese students immerse themselves in American culture at MIIS” in the Sunday, August 12, edition of the Monterey Herald, the students gain a deeper understanding of local language and culture through interaction with Monterey Peninsula residents. The class takes trips to the Country Flat Farm in Big Sur and the Monterey County Food Bank, and gives presentations to residents of the Park Lane senior living residences, among other activities.