About the Program

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we made a difficult decision to cancel the 2022 Theme Studies in Japan.


"Food and Culture, East and West" with Prof. Jean DeBernardi

Course Summary
In this course, we will explore the anthropology of food while investigating Japanese food culture in the Kyoto area. Topics will include: food production in historical perspective; food as a symbol; authenticity and traditions of invention in food culture; food and national identity and as intangible cultural heritage. Activities will include observational assignments and field trips to study traditional and modern Japanese food culture, including markets and street food, tea arts and ramen. We will arrange field trips to explore a variety of food-related destinations, including a kaiseki restaurant, the open air flea market at Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, the Kyoto Food Culture Museum, and the Nishiki Night Market.

June 15-26, 2020

DATES (June) 15 16 17 18 19 20 21
PM Lecture hours 3 3 3 3 3
PM Field work/Research 1 1 1 1 4.5
DATES (June) 22 23 24 25 26 27 28
PM Lecture hours 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.5
PM Field work/Research 1 1 1 4 1



Ritsumeikan University offers students its dormitory check in June 14 and check out June 27. (Bunk bed x 2)

Program Cost

Tuition: $933.49 (Canadian) / $2,503.37 (International) *
Field Trips: $150
Service fees (both PTJC and RU): $400**
Accommodation: 13 nights = $300**
Airfare (Edmonton-Osaka-Edmonton): $1,400**
Other Expenses: $1,000
(Travel Insurance/Local Transportation/Food/Entertainment, etc...)

* Participants will pay for regular intersession tuition to the University of Alberta.
**The monetary amounts based on the exchange rate of November 2019 and are subject to change.



This course will be run as INT D225 (3-credit course) on the University of Alberta Calendar.

Please note that at least 15 students from the University of Alberta are necessary to run this course.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are the prerequisites for the summer program?
    There is no prerequisites (No Japanese required.)
  2. Do we need to submit a transcript?
    No you don't need to submit a transcript.
  3. Will the students travel together or separately?
    Students are free to book their own flights according to their desired personal schedules. The Prince Takamado Japan Centre can offer help in booking a flight if required.
  4. Can I travel in Japan and/or to other countries after the program?
    You are free to travel within Japan during your free time while you are participating in the program. However, students who require a visa to be in Japan will not be allowed to enter Japan prior to the start of the program, and must also leave immediately after the end of the program. All students are free to travel to other countries before or after the program.
  5. Do I need to be immunized before going to Japan?
    No special vaccinations are required for travel to Japan.
  6. Do I need a Visa to go Japan? What are the procedures?
    If you are a Canadian citizen, a Visa is not required. If you are in Canada on a Student Visa, a Visa MAY be required. Please check the following site. Any student that requires a Visa to enter Japan MUST make arrangements to get one before they depart from Canada. Arrangement procedures and all fees required for getting a Visa are the student's responsibility.
  7. If I withdraw from the program will I receive a refund?
    No guarantees are made, but if you withdraw before the start of the program we will try to arrange a refund of the accommodation fees. However, we will keep the service fees to cover the financial cost of taking care of the cancellation. Tuition refunds will be assessed as accordingly to the University of Alberta Academic Calendar.