HISTORY | The PAX Laurasian Exchange Story

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Quality Education and Exchange Programs Since 1990

Laurasian Institution is a not-for-profit educational organization, specializing in meaningful, high-quality, exchange and education programs driven by their curricular design. Annually, Laurasian supports approximately 2,000 participants of varying ages on short-term and group programs. The institution was founded in 1990 and has been honored to operate programs sponsored by both the U.S. Department of State and the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The organization operates offices in Tokyo, Seattle, and New York.

JALEX: The Language Initiative that Started it All

From the start, Laurasian focused on the promotion of Japanese language and Japan-related curricula in the U.S. classroom. In 1992, when President George H.W. Bush and Prime Minister Miyazawa declared enhanced Japanese language training essential to partnership between the two nations, it was Laurasian with the support of the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership that administered the initiative’s flagship program: the Japanese Language Exchange (JALEX) teaching assistant program. The decade-long initiative brought more than 600 native teachers of Japanese into American K-12 schools. This teaming of cultural and pedagogical expertise resulted in an especially dynamic classroom experience and heightened understanding of the connection between language and culture.

Expanding the Scope of Cultural Exchange

The success of JALEX paved the way for many new and exciting programs rooted in this unique experience. Whether it’s strengthening a Japanese language program, infusing Japanese culture into an institution, exposing young people to American or Japanese society through cultural exchange, or incorporating study travel into a customized curriculum, Laurasian provides first-class programs to fit the needs of curious cosmopolitans, internationally-minded educators, and young people seeking life-changing experiences.

Largest U.S.-Japan Non-Governmental Exchange Organization

Today, Laurasian Institution is the largest U.S.-Japan non-governmental exchange organization in terms of audience impacted. The Japan Outreach Initiative (JOI) alone reaches tens of thousands of Americans each year through its cultural outreach programming. From K-12 school activities and teacher workshops to lectures on Japanese society, music, cooking, or history, and from planning traditional arts demonstrations and cultural festivals to supporting sister city relationships, Americans are developing a newfound appreciation for Japanese culture through Laurasian programs.

Leveraging Geographic and Programmatic Expertise

In 2015, Laurasian combined its expertise in Asia and programming breadth with PAX – Program of Academic Exchange, a not-for-profit educational organization working with high school exchange students from more than 70 countries, including those through prestigious U.S. Department of State-designated Exchange Visitor Programs. Together, PAX Laurasian Exchange is uniquely positioned to achieve the ultimate goal of providing transformative international experiences that touch individuals and, through them, their communities.

We invite you to join us in this effort by exploring how you might fit into one of our programs or by beginning a dialogue toward an exciting new initiative to open doors, embrace cultures, and become family.