The New Perspectives (NP) program, administered by The Laurasian
is designed as a cross-cultural education program with the goal of assisting precollegiate
students and teachers in developing a meaningful understanding of other cultures.
To reach this goal, NP programs include three phases. During the first
phase, students and teachers study curriculum units designed for NP.
Students and teachers also select sites to visit in the country they
are studying. These sites are linked to the curriculum units the school
group studies. The second phase of the program consists of a "field
trip" to the country of study. Once in the country, groups tour
selected sites and participate in a host family homestay and, while
in session, experience classes at a host school. Upon returning to
the United States, groups engage in follow-on activities that encourage
the students to reflect upon their experiences and distill their understanding
of the country visited.
The oldest NP program is the New Perspectives: Japan (NP:J) program,
established in 1996. More than 2,000 U.S. high school and middle
school students engaged in the study of Japanese language and culture
have participated in NP:J since its inception. Through the generous
support of The Freeman Foundation and The Japan Foundation Center
for Global Partnership, this program has enjoyed 18 successful
years. In 2000, the United States-Japan Foundation funded
a special three-year NP:J Fellows program, enabling selected Midwestern
teachers and students who have never studied Japanese to participate
in this unique adventure on full scholarships.
2010-2011 school year was the first year for the New Perspectives:
China (NP:C) program. Teachers and students traveled to China to
visit historical sites in Beijing, Xian and Shanghai, attended a
Chinese school, lived with a Chinese host family, served a rural
Chinese community, and experienced contemporary China.
The New Perspectives logo depicts a single beam of light traveling through a prism.
As the light emerges, it is changed, broadened, and heightened--moving forward with
a new perspective.
The change reflects the hope that the NP program has for its participants.