Mercer Selected to Participate in Kakehashi Exchange Program, Send 23 Students to Japan in March


Applications Now Open for Full-time Students to Participate in Eight-day, Fully-funded Study Abroad Experience

ATLANTA/MACON – Mercer University was recently selected by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan to participate in the Kakehashi Project, a fully funded, large-scale youth exchange program between Japan and the United States.

Kakehashi is the Japanese word for “bridge,” and the objectives of the project are to promote deeper mutual understanding among the people of Japan and the U.S., enable future leaders of Japan-U.S. exchanges to form networks, and help young people develop wider perspectives to encourage active roles at the global level in the future.

The project will provide scholarships for 23 Mercer students to participate in an eight-day, fully-funded study abroad experience in Japan. 

Selected students will travel to Tokyo and the surrounding area March 5-13 to see historical sites, participate in cultural activities, visit government offices, learn about the Japanese economy, network with community and business leaders, and experience traditional Japanese family life. 

Scholarships are open to any full-time Mercer student with a minimum 2.5 GPA and no history of judicial infractions. Selection will be based on responses to essay questions and faculty references. Essay questions will require students to demonstrate interest in deepening one's knowledge of the Japanese culture, awareness of benefits of strong relations between the U.S. and Japan, and a demonstration of understanding the value of this opportunity.

Applications may be accessed online, and must be submitted by the deadline of Dec. 1. Selected students will be notified by Dec. 23.

“Georgia is Japan's largest trading partner in the United States, and Japan is one of the top foreign investors in the state of Georgia. The number of jobs and opportunities created through Japanese interests in Georgia grows each year,” said Julie Strecker, director of international programs at Mercer. “It is a great honor for Mercer to participate in the development of future ties between Georgia and Japan through the Kakehashi Project. This is a valuable opportunity for our students, and we are excited to be a part of the relationship-building process between Japan and the U.S.”

For more information, contact the Office of International Programs at (478) 301-2573 or