Engage in historical role-playing to analyze international issues
Explore international events through in-depth study of specific moments in history
Join us this summer for our Immersive International Studies Summer Institute, two consecutive week-long intensive programs for high school students who are interested in international issues, history, government, and role-play utilizing the innovative pedagogy of Reacting to the Past (RTTP), an award-winning series of immersive sessions (or “games”) that actively engage students in their own learning with its emphasis on research, writing, and oral argumentation. Students assume the roles of historical characters, bringing their character alive in order to explore pivotal moments in history, all while receiving guidance in practicing critical thinking and reading as well as argumentative speaking and writing.
This Summer Institute emphasizes active learning to develop an understanding of international issues and developing a diverse skill set such as persuasive speaking, critical thinking, research skills, problem-solving, teamwork, expository writing, and leadership skills. Reacting to the Past is a series of historical role-playing games that explore important ideas by re-creating the contexts that shaped them. Students are assigned roles, informed by texts set in particular moments of intellectual and social turmoil.
Immersive International Studies Summer Institute Program Overview
Track A – Confucianism and the Ming Court, 1587
Students will become members of the Grand Secretariat in Ming China. The secretariat, also known as the Hanlin Academy, is the Wanli Emperor’s trusted inner circle of advisors and provides guidance to the emperor on all governmental matters. Students who participate in the Confucianism and the Succession Crisis module will step into 1587 Ming China and become versed in the Confucian Analects and debate proper moral virtues befitting a proper scholar-official. Students will shoulder the immense responsibilities as the Wanli Emperor, the First Grand Secretary, or other Grand Secretaries who may have different interpretations of Confucianism, but all of whom believe in the immense responsibilities that come with their position. Students will engage with issues such as:
- Will the Grand Secretariat support the emperor’s decision on succession to the throne?
- How can taxes be levied to pay for government expenses while also being fair to the people?
- How can government forces deal with banditry, especially in the frontier lands?
Track B: Japan, Pan-Asianism, and the West, 1940-41
Students will take on roles in the Japanese Army, Navy, and Imperial Court between September 1940 and end of 1941. Three years into the war with China, Japan is facing economic sanctions from the United States, which has been sending aid to China. Japan faces difficult choices between continuing in the war and maintaining good relations with the US for necessary natural resources. Students will use various sources extant in 1940-1941 to analyze the historical situation to devise and present logical arguments supported by evidence to gain support for their individual and faction goals.
Students will engage with issues such as:
- How compatible are Western ideas such as rationalism, individualism, capitalism, and democracy with Japanese tradition such as Confucianism, bushido, and Shintō?
- Will a unilateral policy that emphasizes military action and economic self-sufficiency, or a trade-based policy that stresses international cooperation be a better course in foreign affairs?
- Which is Japan’s greatest enemy—western imperialism, or communism?
- Is the war in China being fought according to pan-Asianist principles, or is Japan behaving more like an imperial power in East Asia?
UCLA Summer Sessions Summer Scholars Support
Qualified students attending grades 8th – 11th in Spring 2023 in the state of California may be eligible for Summer Scholars Support, a need- and merit-based scholarship offered by the UCLA Summer Sessions Office. A limited number of full and partial scholarships are available to support enrollment in SCIP/eSCIP, one Summer Course, or a Precollege Summer Institute.
Summer 2023 deadline to apply: March 15.
Students will receive a Pass/No Pass (P/NP) upon completion. To receive a “Pass” notation, students must earn a letter grade of C or better. See University Credit, Grades and Transcripts for more information about academic credit.
As a commuter program, housing is not available for the Immersive International Studies Summer Institute.
Participants of the Immersive International Studies Summer Institute must commute to the UCLA campus each day of the program. Specific location information (e.g. classroom) will be provided to enrolled students closer to the start of the program.
Summer Sessions parking permits will be available beginning May 30 on a first-come, first-served basis. Students have the option to purchase a summer term permit or a daily permit.
Please review the Transportation and Parking Services web page and read the “Summer Quarter Parking (All Students)” section for more information on all permit types, including cost.
Track A: July 10, 2023 – July 14, 2023
Track B: July 17, 2023 – July 21, 2023
Program Eligibility: 8th-12th grade in Spring 2023
UCLA Coursework: International and Area Studies 10; 2 units
Enrollment deadline: June 15, 2023
The schedule and syllabus are subject to change. Enrolled students will be given updated materials closer to the program start date.
Fees and Payment Info
The program fee includes the unit fees for the UCLA coursework offered as part of the program and thus varies by UC student status. In addition to the program fee, students are assessed other campus and administrative fees during the summer. This is a summary of fees that commonly apply to the selected student type.
Actual tuition and fees are subject to change by the University of California. Visit the fees, payment, and financial aid section for important disclaimer, as well as more details on fees, payment instructions, and information on delinquency, refunds, and financial aid.
|Document Fee (for first-time Summer Sessions students)||$50|
Meet your instructors
Dr. Jennifer Jung-KimLecturer
Leading the UCLA Immersive International Studies Summer Institute 2022 is Dr. Jennifer Jung-Kim, who has a PhD in Korean history from UCLA. She is a lecturer in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures, Program in International and Area Studies, and the Honors Collegium Program at UCLA, teaching interdisciplinary courses on Asia as well as upper-division courses on Korean history and culture. She is honored to have been a recipient of the 2021 UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award. Dr. Jung-Kim is a strong advocate of Reacting to the Past, having co-written the 1894 Korea game and served on the Reacting Advisory Board. She teaches historical role- playing games because students enjoy and retain what they learn in a proactive, immersive environment.
Immersive International Studies Summer Institute FAQ
Track A: Confucianism and the Ming Court, 1587
- Daniel K. Gardner and Mark C. Carnes, Confucianism and the Succession Crisis of the Wanli Emperor, 1587 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2022). E-book or paperback.
- Ray Huang, 1587, A Year of No Significance: The Ming Dynasty in Decline (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1982).
Track B: Japan, Pan-Asianism, and the West, 1940-41
- John E. Moser, Japan, 1941: Between Pan-Asianism and the West (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2022). E-book or paperback.
Aside from the readings before the program starts, there is minimal homework during the week because students will have ample time in class to write their assignments under the guidance of the professor. If a student needs more time, he/she will be able to complete the assignment at home in the evening.
Students are encouraged to bring a computer, iPad/tablet, or at least a smartphone with some editing capabilities each day.
Still have questions? Check out the general Summer Institutes FAQ.