Japan Study Program: The Luck of the Draw

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Japan Study Program: The Luck of the Draw

Waseda Accepts All Earlham Applicants

Waseda University in Japan has accepted every applicant from

Earlham for the lucrative study-abroad program for the 2019-2020 aca-
demic year, making this year’s group the largest in history to be selected

from any college in the United States.
The Japan Study Program is notorious for its selectivity, usually

only accepting an average of four students, from the entire school, re-
gardless of their major. Waseda is a prestigious top-tier Japanese Uni-
versity located in the center of Tokyo, Japan, with its partnership with

Earlham dating back to 1963. This partnership serves the purpose of
producing global citizens, while simultaneously providing Earlhamites
with lifelong educational and career opportunities.
I spoke with Director of Japan Study and Associate Professor of
Politics and Japanese Studies, Dyron Dabney, about the unusually large
group of successful applicants. “It was the luck of the draw,” explained
Dryon. “We had a very competitive list of applicants. We had quality

students. And, we also had the luxury to be able to bring in more stu-
dents from Earlham without the expense of needing to reject any of

our other GLCA and ACM this year.” Before this academic year, the program that encompasses all of Great Lakes Colleges Association (GLCA)
and the Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM) only had 30 guaranteed spots for students to fill. Dryon explained, “I was able to negotiate
with Waseda to bump that up to 35 guaranteed spots. Earlham students actually benefited from that largess of five extra spots.”
However, the increase in the number of total spots divided among the GLCA and ACM, does not guarantee that the program will display
a 100% acceptance rate in the future, or that it will become any less competitive. Dryon explained that enrolling at Earlham does not necessarily

mean acceptance into Japan Study; “it might enhance your opportunity to be in it, but there is no guarantee of it.” Earlham Students are fortu-
nate to be on the campus of which the program is operating out of, but there is a clear-cut distribution of “seats” for applicants from all of the

GLCA and ACM’s. “We are not going to reserve all of the seats for Earlham Students only. That would be unfair. We are servicing a community
of institutions.”
It looks like the 10 Japan Study applicants from Earlham, ranging in majors from Comparative Languages and Literature to History, were just
lucky. “The Sun, the Moon, the stars and the planets aligned quite well for Earlham Students this year,” explained Dyron, but this phenomenon
will not happen again. Or how astronomers say, “Not in a hundred more years.”

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