The Iwate - Indiana Student Exchange Program has a history that goes back to 1973 when Earlham College began the Teacher Education Program (TEP) in Morioka, Iwate-ken, Japan. This program was established as a result of Earlham's commitment to programming in both Japanese Studies and study abroad in Japan. The TEP program (renamed the Studies in Cross Cultural Education Program, i.e., SICE), was funded through start-up monies provided by the Yoshida International Education Foundation and the Asia Foundation, and with administrative cooperation from the Iwate Prefectural Education Office.
Building upon the base already established with the TEP program, Earlham sought to seek and solidify this work by extending the program in Japanese-American relations to include in-service opportunities in the United States for Japanese secondary school teachers. This program became know as the January Institute on American Culture and Education. The January Institute was a two-week institute at Earlham College for a group of 5 - 6 teachers of English from schools in Iwate. Later, the program was redefined as a student exchange program. Both Morioka and Tanohata participate in the Iwate-Indiana Student Exchange in which 6 - 10 students and 2 - 4 teachers come to Indiana to participate in activities at Connersville High School, a short drive west of Earlham. Earlham also continues to send study-abroad students to Morioka each fall semester for the Studies in Cross-cultural Education (SICE) program. This program provides students a unique opportunity to learn about Japan by participating in a Japanese community.
This relationship also provided teaching opportunities in Japan for graduates of Earlham College via Earlham's Assistant Language Teacher Program. Originally known as the Teaching English in Japan, TEJ, program, this program was a pre-cursor to the Japanese English Teacher program, (JET). Currently, there are seven 2-year ALT positions in Morioka that are assigned through the Japan Study office at Earlham. An additional 2-year ALT position in Tanohata on the coast of Iwate Prefecture became available again in 2016.
These programs are one more network that showcases Earlham's strong commitment to Japanese Studies and to outreach that builds understanding between our two countries.