The student news site of Linfield University

The Linfield Review

The student news site of Linfield University

The Linfield Review

The student news site of Linfield University

The Linfield Review

Japan Awaits: A New Jan Term Option for Linfield Students

Annemarie Mullet

Every year, Linfield offers a variety of January Terms for students to participate in all over the world. During the 2024–25 year, Professor Kevin Curry, from the Journalism department, and Professor Sarah Coste, from the Health Department, are taking students to Japan for a brand-new course that they co-created. The course will look at food and nutritional habits in Japan through the lens of neuroscience, and practice journalistic skills to communicate learning. Curry has never led a Jan-term course of his own, but has high hopes for this one.

In January 2022, Curry was invited to join Professor Janet Gupton in teaching a Jan Term abroad in Greece. Previously, Curry had not taught any Jan Terms and was inspired to create his own course after he returned. With this in mind, Curry approached Coste in order to start to build the curriculum.

“We were looking at this idea of food and nutrition because of her expertise, then we started looking at other countries… we knew we didn’t want to go to Europe,” Curry says.

The pair of them discussed what they wanted out of the location of their Jan term and decided on Japan, in part for Japan’s nutritional habits as well as wanting to allow students to go to a country that hadn’t been offered in the past several years.

The course has immediately gained popularity, with this new course receiving the most applications out of all the other Jan Term offerings, receiving applications from a large variety of majors, not just journalism and health science.

“It’s nice, we’ll get a good mix of students together who will get to know people they won’t normally have class with,” says Curry.

The students applying are drawn not only by the course offering but also by their interest in Japan.

“It’s across the board, in terms of why they are applying. It all starts with, ‘Oh, I have been interested in Japanese culture,’” Curry says.

Students are excited about the new offering as well as the prospect of studying Japanese culture.

While this course focuses on food and nutrition, Curry felt it was important that this was not a traditional English or essay writing course.

“I think that telling stories in other ways can help you learn it just as well, so I wanted to expose students, who haven’t had that opportunity, to learn how to create a podcast or do an interview, and not just get the information but have it tell a story,” Curry states.

Curry discussed the way that ideas and information are communicated, and how a lot of the content people receive is in video format.

He hopes that people will have the opportunity to learn how to “examine a question or teach someone about Japanese food and innovations and nutrition areas with videos.”

Heading into this course, Curry and Coste continue to work to make sure their new course will not only be educational but will be fulfilling for the students that go. As with all study abroad experiences, Curry hopes that students will walk away from the course with an expanded worldview. Since this is a new course, Curry can’t predict how the course will go, but is excited to offer it to Linfield students. He also hopes to offer similar courses in the future, so that other students can experience a course like he and Coste have created.

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About the Contributors
Faythe Lloyd, Staff Writer
Faythe Lloyd is a sophomore from Spokane, Wash. She is a Creative Writing major with and Environmental Science minor and a Media Studies Minor. Faythe is passionate about art and nature and enjoys exploring new things. In her free time, Faythe can be found reading and enjoying the outdoors, as well as consuming a wide variety of tv and movies. She is excited to be joining The Linfield Review Staff this year and looks forward to being part of the team.
Annemarie Mullet, Managing Editor

Annemarie Mullet is a senior from Kirkland, Wash. She is a digital arts major and creative writing minor. Annemarie also works at the Writing Center and in the digital art lab. When not working or doing school, Annemarie can be found doing art, crocheting, sewing, reading, or spending time with her ESA bunny, Mocha.

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