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Hendrix to Participate in Japan Exchange Program

A calligraphy workshop, part of the 2018 Kakehashi Inouye Scholars Program exchange, brought together students from Hendrix College and Prefectural Hiroshima University. From left: Yuki Kikuchi of PHU; Lexus Raney ’18 and Mara Campbell ’18 of Hendrix; and Mami Ono and Yumi Tamura of PHU.

CONWAY, Ark. (February 14, 2020) — For the second time in three years, Hendrix College has been awarded an opportunity to participate in the TOMODACHI Kakehashi Inouye Scholars program, an exchange program funded by the non-profit U.S.-Japan Council and the Japanese government. Named in honor of Senator Daniel K. Inouye of Hawaii (1924-2012), the program promotes service, cultural understanding, and interest in Japan. As one of just three colleges selected for the program in the United States, Hendrix will host 23 students from its new study abroad exchange partner, Kwansei Gakuin University of Nishinomiya, Japan, from Feb. 16-22, and send 23 students to Japan over spring break (March 21-29). 

The Japanese group will tour historic and cultural sites in central Arkansas, participate in classes and club activities at Hendrix, and give presentations on Japanese culture at local schools, including Jim Stone Elementary and the University of Central Arkansas.

In Japan, the Hendrix group will visit important sites in the Tokyo and the Kyoto-Osaka areas, including educational institutions, high-tech industries, world heritage sites, and government offices, visit with local officials, and experience daily life through activities with KGU students and homestays with local families.

Hendrix students will be joined on the trip by Gwen Stockwell, assistant director of international programs and instructor of Japanese at Hendrix, who is also administering the exchange, and Dr. Michael Miyawaki, assistant professor of sociology. Dr. Michael Sprunger, associate professor of history and faculty contact for the Asian studies program, will provide additional support.

Participating Hendrix College students, some of whom have never traveled outside the U.S., look forward to learning more about Japanese culture and society and form lasting relationships through the exchange. “I am excited to experience the food, art, technology, and nature,” says Mary Claire Bright ’23. 

“This is a unique, once in a lifetime experience that most of my friends and family have not had,” notes Alexandria Cade ’23. “I am excited to learn and be fully immersed in Japanese culture.” 

“Cultural understanding is one of the most important foundations for global cooperation,” says Keegan Vacanti ’22, “but it’s also one of the most difficult things to achieve without direct relationships.”

About Hendrix College

A private liberal arts college in Conway, Arkansas, Hendrix College consistently earns recognition as one of the country’s leading liberal arts institutions, and is featured in Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges. Its academic quality and rigor, innovation, and value have established Hendrix as a fixture in numerous college guides, lists, and rankings. Founded in 1876, Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. To learn more, visit