Globalize DC is a DC-based nonprofit organization which works to expand access to global education, language learning, and study abroad opportunities for Washington, DC K-12 public school students, particularly those from the city’s most underserved schools and communities. We accomplish this in large part by serving as a bridge, facilitating connections between the city’s extensive global assets and our local students, educators, and schools. We think strategically about how best to use these resources, to move beyond isolated, one-off opportunities to encourage more equitably available and sustainable approaches.

Our History with Japan

We first got seriously involved in Japan in 2013, when we were invited to become an implementing partner for American Council’s TOMODACHI US-Japan Youth Exchange Program, a two-way cultural exchange between DC and Japanese high school students, funded by the US-Japan Council’s TOMODACHI Initiative. We co-coordinated this exchange with DC students for six years (from 2013 to 2018), until funding ended.

Read about this program here and on our special program website:

Our participation in this student exchange gave us new insight into the US-Japan relationship, ideas for new educational programming, and a large network of wonderful partners and resources. It also presented us with a challenge. Most of our participating DC students finished the program eager to continue their study of Japan and Japanese; yet no Japanese language or Japan-related program currently existed for them in the public school sector.

So Globalize DC got to work designing programs that could begin to meet the tremendous student interest in Japan, tapping into the wealth of local Japan-focused resources.

In the 2016-17 school year we introduced, thanks to a generous grant from the US Japan Foundation:

  • JAPANESE PLUS: A free afterschool Japanese language, culture, and career exposure program, offered at no cost to DCPS and DC charter high school students (October 2017-June 2018).
  • JAPAN IN DC: A six-week summer Japan studies (not language-focused) program (June-August 2017)

Since then, Globalize DC has helped launch a new school-day Japanese language program at Columbia Heights Education Campus, the first formal in-school Japanese language program in a DC public school in recent memory.

Now in the 2019-20 school year, we are continuing and expanding these programs. Review our Programs menu and News on this website for the latest information, and most importantly, check out our Student Blog to hear from our students.