A virtual study abroad course, adapted for the pandemic, emulated the in-person experience of studying food and agriculture in the Land of the Rising Sun

In a span of 20 minutes, a dozen UW students visited a Japanese pastry shop and a high-tech sushi restaurant, and then they got ice cream — twice. But they all left a little hungrier.

They were the virtual guests of their counterparts at Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine (OUAVM), taking a food tour of the Japanese city. It was one of several immersive video field trips the students would attend and just a taste of many welcoming and engaging experiences to come. For 10 days last summer, the virtual study abroad program UW Food Systems and the Environment in Northern Japan was in session.

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