History

Currently in its 26th year, the UBC Ritsumeikan Academic Exchange Program (AEP) is UBC’s longest standing and largest academic exchange program, and since 1991 it has welcomed almost 2500 students from Ritsumeikan University, Japan, for a full year of undergraduate study. The Program also includes the Ritsumeikan Visiting Scholar opportunity.

The AEP began in the fall of 1991 and it brings 100 Japanese students to UBC every year to live and study in an integrated academic and residential environment. It also provides UBC students with an opportunity to gain international and intercultural experience and insight by living with Rits students in Rits House or other UBC dormitories and by taking specially-designed, integrated courses with Ritsumeikan students.

In September 2012 a second program option was launched: the Global Citizenship Program (GCP). Participants of this program are eligible students from Ritsumeikan University who meet the regular UBC admissions criteria and are interested in the focus of the program. The highly innovative curriculum was developed keeping in mind the increasingly diverse student population of our campus, as well as the need to provide students with opportunities to reflect on current global/local issues, and make connections between theoretical knowledge and hands on practices by means of a community-based experiential learning model. Check out testimonials from students in our first GCP cohort!

For a more detailed historical account, we invite you to listen to an interview with Dr. Kenneth Reeder, former Academic Director (July 2006-July 2012), or ask our Program Manager, Sheri Wenman, who’s been with the program since year 1!