Communication, Film Studies in Tokyo, Japan

  • The summer 2022 program to Japan was born out of a high demand. Students will learn the concepts and principles of Interpersonal Communication as they experience the "old and new" and "urban and rural" Japan by visiting key architectural and cultural sites in the Tokyo area.  Students will gain an appreciation of the historical, cultural, and linguistic diversity of the country, and will learn how Japanese people view their society and identity. In addition, students will understand the significance of Japan's relationship with the United States.  This program will offer a valuable experience for students to gain an understanding of effective communication in a global society.

    Additionally, students will study the work of classical and contemporary Japanese directors and how their work has advanced the international art of cinema. The Film Studies course will analyze landmark films by celebrated Japanese directors in terms of theme, structure and cinematic technique. Emphasis will be placed on the role of the “auteur” director. Japanese directorial contributions to specific genres such as sci-fi, martial arts, and horror will be explored.

  • June 26, 2022 (leave the U.S.) - July 24, 2022 (leave Japan)

  • Professor Mika Garard is thrilled to be co-directing her 2nd Japan study abroad program at SBCC.  Professor Garard has been teaching several different Communication courses at Santa Barbara City College for more than 15 years, and has been teaching COMM121 Interpersonal Communication since 2011.  She was born and raised in Sendai, Miyagi, and came to the United States as a Rotary Foundation Scholar to pursue her education.  She holds a B.S. and M.S. in Speech Communication from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.  Before she started teaching at SBCC, she worked as a Japanese-English translator at a Japanese-French joint-venture company in the Midwest.  Professor Garard's study abroad experience was life changing.  She is looking forward to being a part of student's educational experience in Japan again. 

    Mike Garard

    Your can reach Professor Garard at or in her office at BC_102E (please contact Professor Garard for office hours)

    Professor Michael Stinson has been a full-time faculty member in the department of Film and Media Studies at SBCC for the past 20 years. During his tenure, he has directed seven international study programs and taught courses in screenwriting, film production, cinematography, directing, editing, and film history. Professor Stinson was awarded a Master of Fine Arts in Film and Television from U.C.L.A. and worked as a screenwriter for Warner Brothers, Paramount and Universal Studios. He was the Co-Director of the Student Screenwriting and Filmmaking Competition at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival in 2018 and is leading the 2019 Fall program to Paris, and Rome. Prior to film school, he lived and worked abroad for ten years as a photojournalist and was based in Japan for over six years.

    Michael Stinson

    You can reach Professor Stinson at

  • To acquaint program participants with the cultural aspects of life in Japan, a series of mandatory as well as optional free or inexpensive activities is planned, which varies but often includes lectures on local customs and contemporary issues, sports events, walking tours, sight visits, and dinners. The below excursions are included in the program (subject to change):

    • Live in Tokyo 
    • Zen meditation at a temple in Tokyo
    • Traditional tea ceremony
    • Additional cultural experiences
    • Plenty of time to explore on your own or with the group
  • You do not have to be currently enrolled at SBCC to apply for the program. However, you must meet the following requirements to participate in the program:

    • Must be in good academic standing 
    • Must be at least 18 years old on the day of departure
    • Must successfuly complete the application process

    After acceptance to the program and official program go announcement:
    - Must enroll at SBCC for the summer 2022 semester in order to participate in the program
    - Must show proof of international health insurance
    - We highly encourage the purchase of Trip Cancellation and Interruption insurance with the CANCEL FOR ANY REASON (CFAR) add-on. Without the CFAR you will not be protected in case the program gets cancelled due to COVID. You may choose any insurance provider for the CFAR insurance (check the Healthy & Safety Section for Insurance provider suggestions.) However, JTB, our service provider offers a group policy for 10 students or more. You can find more details on that policy HERE. You will need to get in touch with JTB after the program-go announcement to request the insurance. If the minimum of 10 students for this insurance is not met by March 23, 2022 or sooner, you will need to find your own insurance provider. Please note this insurance is only available for students 35 or younger. 

    There is no major or language requirement for this program.

    Acceptance and participation in the program is not guaranteed until you have completed the interview with the program director/s and all required documents are received by the Study Abroad office.

  • The courses that are offered as part of the program are usually transferable to the University of California and California State University. Check with your counselor for possible exceptions.  You must enroll in 6 units.

    Classes offered on this program are:

    COMM151   Intercultural Communication     3 Units

    FS 111       Contemporary World Cinema      3 Units

    TOTAL                                                        6 Units

  •  $ 2,840
    * based on 20+
    ** does not include flight, tuition, books
    *** includes $400 application fee

    Program Fee Includes:
    - 24/7 emergency service
    - Required fieldtrips and excursions (see 'Program Highlights")
    - Shared rooms (3-5 students) at a Tokyo Youth Hostel
    - Breakfast at the youth hostel

    Program Fee Does Not Include:
    - Round-trip airfare (an optional group flight is available through JTB at an estimated $1450.00) see "Travel"
    - Passport or visa fees if applicable
    - Insurance fees (trip cancelation or health)
    - Meals other than those listed
    - SBCC tuition, fees, books (non-residents are required to pay out-of-state or out-of-country fees)
    - Personal expenses
    - Additional fieldtrips and excursions to those listed
    - Anything not specified

  •  $400 application fee due with application by March 28, 2022

    2nd Program payment $1,500 due April 27, 2022 

    Final Program payment $940 due May 22, 2022.

    Payment to be made directly to JTB.

    JTB Transportation Package cost and payment deadline March 23, 2022.
    Please note that JTB USA is required to pay $250 seat deposit. This will be non-refundable on or after 95 days prior to the departure.

  • Round-Trip airfare is not included in the program price.

    An optional group flight will be offered on a space-available basis through JTB. The group flight has a minimum requirement of 10 students in order to materialize. If 10 students are not registered for the group flight by March 23, 2022, the group flight will be cancelled. Therefore, students wanting to get on the group flight must apply for the program no later than March 16, 2022. 

    JTB can not arrange airline tickets for students applying for the group flight after May 12, 2022

    Optional Airfare Package: Estimated cost (subject to change): $1450.00

    * including airport transfers & staff support, estimated taxes, fees & fuel fee
    ** JTB will reserve spaces at the above price for up to 20 students. Additional tickets may not be available at the same cost.
    ***Only one piece of checked luggage is permitted on this flight to accommodate bus transfer at the airport

    International flights between Los Angeles (LAX) to Tokyo (TYO) returning Tokyo (TYO) to Los Angeles (LAX)
    Ground trip group transfer in Japan between the airport and the student housing

    Ticketing Due: 34 days prior to the trip departure date (5/23/2022)
    *Once tickets are issued they are non-refundable. Restrictions are applied.

  • Housing in a shared room with bunk beds (3-4 students per room) at a Tokyo Youth Hostel.

    Breakfast (buffet style) is included at the Youth Hostel. The hostel has a curfew from 11pm to 6am. 

    Shared toilets, shower rooms, and public bath

    *There will be no housekeeping service.

    *Laundry: Washing machines are available to use. Fees apply: JPY200/per times (40min), Drying machine: JPY200/per times (60min) 

  • Application Deadline: March 28, 2022
    *If you are planning on purchasing the optional group flight, you must apply for the program no later than March 16, 2022. A  minimum of 10 students is needed for the group flight to materialize. 

    Please note: This program is likely to fill before the application deadline. We recommend you apply as soon as possible. 

    Should you apply to the program after the program has been filled, you will be placed on a waiting list after successful completion of the application process. Your application fee will not be deposited unless you are accepted in the program and it can be returned until then.

    Should you, at any time after being placed on the waiting list, no longer want to participate in the program, it is your responsibility to withdraw your application by contacting Students on the waiting list will replace any spots that become available in the order they have been placed on the list based on availability of rooms up to the final payment.


    Download and complete required documents BEFORE starting your online application:
    Student Conduct Release Form

    You can download the form HERE. The top of this form must be completed by you. The bottom portion of that form needs to be completed by the appropriate school official. For SBCC, this school official is the Associate Dean, Dr. Christopher Johnson, located at Campus Center CC-222. You can submit the form to his assistant Candee Gyll at  Original signatures must be obtained. If you are not currently or have most recently been attending SBCC, you must submit the form to the school official responsible for student conduct at that school to complete the form. If you are or have most recently been a High School student, your High School official must complete this form. The school official can also request a secure upload link by emailing to submit the form. Please DO NOT EMAIL documents. 

    Please make sure you read all the instructions on how to apply before starting your application as you will not be able to save and continue the form. You will need to complete your required documents prior to starting the application. 
    After review of your application, the program co-directors Professor Garard or Professor Stinson will be scheduled. As long as SBCC staff is working remotely or if you live outside of the Santa Barbara area, interviews will be held via Zoom.
    Once you have been accepted to the program JTB, our service provider, will invoice you for the non-refundable first deposit/ appliction fee, which is due upon receipt of the invoice. Your spot is not confirmed in the program until this fee has been received by JTB. Please review the cancelation policy below.
    Subsequent payments must be made directly to JTB. Failure to make any payment when due will automatically cancel you from the program. You may request to be re-instated to the program. If space is still available at the time of your request, the outstanding payment is due immediately. Re-instatement can not be guaranteed. 

    For questions about the application or the application process please contact the Study abroad office.

    Other deadlines:

    Apply for the program by March 16, 2022, if you are planning on participating in the group flight.

    Pay the application fee by March 28, 2022.

    Pay the final payment of the program fee directly to JTB by April 27, 2022.

    Submit Student Participation Agreement 10 days after receiving the acceptance notice.

    Check your e-mail frequently to find any additional deadlines for event RSVP's, legal documents, group flight reservation and other program related information.

  • Any individual cancellation must be made in writing to the SBCC Study Abroad office at 

    Full or Partial cancellation will be applied as follows:

    Non-refundable deposit of $400: March 28, 2022
    60 Days prior to trip departure (4/27/2022): 20% of the total tour cost at that time (except airfare)
    45 Days prior to trip departure (5/12/2022): 40% of the total tour cost at that time (except airfare)
    30 Days prior to trip departure (5/27/2022): 70% of the total tour cost at that time (except airfare)
    Within 14 days prior to the trip departure: 100% of the total tour cost at that time (except airfare)

    Please note that any student who is academically withdrawn by SBCC after their application has been processed by JTB is subject to the standard refund policy.


    Given the ever-evolving nature of COVID-19 circumstances and our aim to ensure that all program participants have a unique, unforgettable, immersive, and safe time abroad,  SBCC requires that all program participants (students, faculty leaders, spouses alike) be fully vaccinated prior to their departure to Japan.

    In addition, if you are planning on traveling outside of Japan, please keep in mind that local regulations apply and that many freedoms to explore, learn, travel, and partake in the unique cultural experiences  may apply solely to fully-vaccinated individuals (or those who have recently recovered from COVID-19). In many areas in the world non-vaccinated individuals are not able to travel or must present a negative test (sometimes a PCR test) for all activities in some countries. In most cases, these official tests are only valid for 24 hours, time consuming, and are at the individual’s expense.

    Some countries have stricter regulations, declaring that only vaccinated or recovered people can participate in indoor activities (for example, restaurant and museums visits), and a negative test will not be sufficient for entry.

    All program participants deserve a transformational academic experience abroad and should be permitted equal access to all elements of their international program.

    Non-vaccinated participants may be required to take a test every 24 hours (at your own coast and if available), have a higher risk of being quarantined, and may not be allowed to join activities that are part of the program and comprehensive study abroad experience they paid for.

    Information meetings are scheduled on the SBCC campus. Please refer to the event page for SBCC Study Abroad for dates, times and locations or contact the Study Abroad office at (805) 730-4294 or 

    Find program related posts on Instagram at @sbccjapan2020 or check what students from the last Japan program experienced #sbccjapan2018

    Program Orientation: A mandatory pre-departure meeting will be conducted at SBCC in May 2022, introducing the academic course work, addressing general aspects of study abroad and cross-cultural learning and providing practical information regarding preparation and travel. Please check with the Study Abroad Office for the exact date before you make your travel arrangements.

    Santa Barbara City College
    Study Abroad Office
    Nicole Walther
    International Education Center, Room 1
    721 Cliff Drive
    Santa Barbara, CA 93109
    Phone: (805) 730-4294

    Service Provider:
    JTB (Japan Travel Bureau)
    Please contact SBCC Study Abroad office for any program related questions first. If you have additional questions about payment and cancelation deadlines or if you have any questions about your payments, please contact JTB at or call them at 201-288-5592. Please note the name of your group (Santa Barbara City College or SBCC Trip to Japan) in the email title when contacting them via email." as they work with many different programs and colleges.

    Some online resources for Japan:

    All About Japan
    More Current Japan Articles
    Tripsavvy essential info about Japan
    Tokyo Metropolitan Government
    Tokyo Tower
    Transportation in Japan
    Top 10 Foods in Japan
    Meiji Jinju
    Golden Pavilion - Kinkaku-ji
    History of Hiroshima
    Ghibli Museum
    Shinjuku Robot Restaurant 
    10 Best Things to Do in Kamakura 
    Matsuhima: One of the Three Most Scenic Places to visit in Japan
    Things to Do in Sendai 
    Sendai Loople sightseeing bus  
    The festival of “8 million” gods
    History of Okonomiyaki in Hiroshima
    Portable protective charms, Omamori 
    Tokyo One Piece Tower Museum     
    MORI Building Digital Art Museum    

  • Several Information meetings will be held each semester. No RSVP is required. Parents are welcome to attend. Please email or call Professor Michael Stinson ( or Professor Mika Garard ( ) with questions about the information meetings.

    Virtual Meetings via Zoom:
    Tuesday 11/2 @ 3:00  2328?pwd=bmoxQUZtWUxyZHNzL0xMa  2ExWWlaQT09
    Meeting ID: 998 8660 2328
    Passcode: tofu

    Monday 11/22 @ 12:00 - Scholarship coordinator Ivena will join this meeting so you can ask financial aid and scholarship related questions  9851?pwd=NG1NZEdWamFBUUltOFI2a  FdWREFqQT09
    Meeting ID: 967 8891 9851
    Passcode: tofu

    Monday, January 24, 12:00 p.m. (Noon) to 1:00 p.m.
    Register in advance for this meeting: register/tJwrd- Chrz8vEtLaYPZSgSm7DY9TOqtsHJnI

    After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
    Tuesday, February 15, 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. CANCELLED


Any information on this site is subject to change without notice.

Japan    Japan   Japan   Japan   Japan cooking class   Japan cooking class   Sushi   Sushi   japan food   cookingTokyo   Japan band  Japan   japanjapan