Program Overview

Note: We plan to host the 2020 TOMODACHI STEM @ Rice University from August 12 – September 20, 2020.  More information and the online application will be available by late January 2020.  Please follow our Facebook page or check back to our website for more information.  


I communicated with all members in my host lab. They were all kind and helpful.

I communicated with all members in my host lab. They were all kind and helpful.

TOMODACHI-STEM @ Rice University is a five-week summer research internship program for up to 10 Japanese female undergraduate students majoring in science & engineering (S&E).  Held at Rice University in Houston, TX, the program will enable students to gain real world experience with S&E research, provide an introduction to U.S. higher education and provide opportunities for cultural engagement and collaboration with U.S. students. The program will serve as a catalyst for Japanese students interested in S&E study and research and engagement with the U.S. through international research collaborations. The objectives are to:

  • Nurture the next generation of female science and engineering students in Japan,
  • Cultivate an interest in science and engineering research and research collaborations
    between the U.S. and Japan,
  • Contribute to the development of a generation of internationally savvy female
    Japanese students who have a specific interest in and knowledge of the U.S., and
  • Educate students in culture, language, and technology, in order that they may be
    more effective when addressing global scientific problems.

Our planned 2020 program dates are August 12 – September 20, 2020.

  • Mid-July: Travel Planning & Program Introduction Webinar
  • Mid-August: 1 – 2 Day Pre-Departure and Intercultural Communication Seminar in the Tokyo area
  • Mid-August to Mid-September: Four-week science & engineering research internship at Rice University
    • Placement into a Rice University research lab within the School of Engineering or School of Natural Sciences
    • Company visit to DOW in Houston and related seminars and activities related to higher education, science & technology, leadership, and career development.
    • Submission of weekly research internship reports and presentation of a final research poster presentation in English
  • One-week Women in STEM & Leadership program at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania
Our first weekend in Houston, we got to attend the BBQ Cook-off at the Houston Rodeo.

Our first weekend in Houston, we got to attend the BBQ Cook-off at the Houston Rodeo.

While at Rice University, students will also participate in cultural programming that may include seminars on topics such as:

  • English Language Conversation Classes (organized by Rice’s OISS)
  • Participation in cultural outings and events in and around the Houston area
  • Engagement with Rice University undergraduate students through participation in various campus events, clubs and activities.
  • Opportunity to attend the Japanese Language Table where you can meet Rice University students who are studying Japanese

Course Enrollment: Participants in the TOMODACHI STEM Program will attend Rice University as a Visiting Undergraduate Research Student as part of the Spring semester.  They will be enrolled in a 0 credit, ELEC 007 Visiting Research course and will receive a satisfactory/unsatisfactory grade. At the end of Rice’s spring semester, in late May, participants will be able request a Rice University transcript online from the Office of the Registrar via the National Student Clearinghouse that will certify their participation in the program.   Students should email program staff if they have questions or if any additional information regarding course enrollment is required by their home university in Japan.

Proof of Meningococcal Vaccination Record or Waiver (required if under the age of 22). Texas State Law requires all “entering students” to be vaccinated against bacterial meningitis if you are under the age of 22 as of the first day of classes. If you are 21 or younger as of the first day of the program at Rice University, you must show proof that you have received this vaccination within the past 5 years. More information will be shared with selected participants who are required to show proof of vaccination.

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