The Thematic Studies Abroad (TSA) program at Earlham College is a one-year exchange program for students from Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan. Each year, Earlham welcomes 12 to 20 TSA students from Waseda for a year of thematic and language study. Thematic study focuses on the themes of American Cultural Studies and International Studies. Courses and program activities are designed to help students understand their experiences while in the United States and develop a deeper awareness of the United States in a global society.
TSA students enroll in English as a Second Language (ESL) courses according to their needs. ESL courses are comprised of both TSA students and degree-seeking international students. The aim of all ESL classes is to prepare students for successful participation in regular academic courses. By Spring Semester, all students are expected to be enrolled in at least one regular academic class.
The TSA program also provides opportunities for students to participate in many aspects of American life. All student organizations and activities are open for TSA student participation. The ESL courses incorporate service learning, which facilitates students’ contact with members of the Richmond community. In addition, students can take advantage of excursions and trips organized for vacation times by the International Programs Office. The experiential learning gained through participating in these activities is an important part of both the thematic and language study offered by the program. After Program completion, TSA students are eligible to work or volunteer in the U.S. for up to nine months. Earlham provides assistance in seeking and obtaining internships for TSA students who pursue this opportunity.
It is our hope that through participating in Earlham’s TSA program, students will leave after their year of study with improved language skills and a greater understanding of themselves, U.S. culture and the world.
Special Learning Opportunities
Students may apply for an off-campus May Term.
TSA students have the option to extend their stay in the U.S. and pursue internship opportunities. In the past, Earlham TSA students have completed internships in Washington DC through the Washington Internship Institute and in Williamstown, Massachusetts with Institute for International Cooperation and Development.
Students go out into the community through their ESL curriculum: service learning at a local elementary school, visiting an outdoor historical museum, and learning about the US through theatrical productions.
Students advance their language skills through conversation partners, use of the writing center, and tutors available for any ESL needs.
Many TSA students enter international companies after graduation.