UM Students to be Guests of Japanese Government

February 22, 2018

MISSOULA – Twenty-three students from the University of Montana will embark on a one-week intensive study tour of Japan on March 5 as guests of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (MOFA).

The exchange program, called “The KAKEHASHI Project,” will focus on strengthening connections between the students and Japanese businesses, while promoting a better understanding of Japanese culture, economy, industry and policy.

UM and its Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center were selected to participate in the nearly fully funded program by MOFA after the first successful KAKEHASHI Project hosted by the University in 2016.

The UM cohort, comprising freshman through graduate students studying business, economics and education, will travel primarily in northern Japan, visiting Tohoku University, partaking in workshops, touring local industries and participating in a homestay.

The cohort also will have the opportunity to network with students from Georgetown University and Mercer University in Tokyo, the two other institutions invited to participate in this year’s exchange.

The trip provides a valuable opportunity for students to build international experience while at UM.

“This trip, with its ups and downs, long nights and early mornings, was the highlight of my semester... Being able to experience a new place and culture is something I recommend for every person looking for inspiration,” wrote 2016 participant Laura Sikoski in the program’s blog.

Read past participant experiences and follow along with this year’s program at People also can follow the students on the Instagram handle @Mansfield_Center or by searching the hashtags #KAKEHASHI, #MTtoJapan and #BeyondBusiness.

The Mansfield Center enhances mutual understanding between the U.S. and Asia by fostering ethical public policy and leadership. For more information, call program coordinator Shanti Johnson at 406-243-6605 or email  


Contact: Shanti Johnson, program coordinator, UM Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center, 406-243-6605,