Study Tour

2014 Peace and Reconciliation Asia Study Tour:  For Teachers and Educators

NJ-ALPHA will be sending six people to participate in the 2014 Asia Study Tour.  They include the following four teachers/educators/other related professionals and two active staff members of NJ-ALPHA:

  • Robert Gangi:  A high school history/Holocaust teacher at East Brunswick High School in East Brunswick, NJ
  • Debi Maller:  A high school English/Holocaust teacher at Rahway High School in Rahway, NJ
  • John McLaughlin:  Ph.D. in History, LLB in Law, and Masters in Theology, and author of the book General Albert C. Wedemeyer:  America’s Unsung Strategist in WWII:  A retired historian/lecturer from Short Hills, NJ, and currently still teaches at Rutgers University Adult Education School and the Columbia High School Adult Education School in NJ
  • Robin Lung:  A film maker from Honolulu, currently making the documentary “Finding KUKAN,” based on the long-lost documentary “KUKAN” that won the first Academy Award for Best Documentary in 1941.  Part of KUKAN was filmed on the roof of the American Embassy in Chongqing when the Japanese was regularly bombing Chongqing, the war-time capital of China
  • Betty Hsianglin Ma-Choy:  A retired biomedical/pharmaceutical researcher in NJ, a Chinese language teacher, and a volunteer community activist in the health field.  Betty is participating in this tour as an active NJ-ALPHA representative
  • Don Tow:  President of NJ-ALPHA, a retired physicist/engineer, long-time involvement in campus and community activities

The Peace and Reconciliation Asia Study Tour will resume again in 2014.  New Jersey Alliance for Learning and Preserving the History of World War II in Asia (NJ-ALPHA) will sponsor up to three history/social science/humanity secondary school/college teachers/educators to participate in the Peace and Reconciliation Asia Study Tour (for short also called Asia Study Tour) during the summer of 2014.  The targeted teachers/educators are those teaching in the NJ/NY area or other parts of the Eastern U.S. For the 2014 tour, NJ-ALPHA will join the Asia Study Tour organized by Toronto ALPHA ( For a detailed itinerary, click here.

This is the seventh year for NJ-ALPHA to sponsor teachers/educators to participate in such a tour. All the participants who have returned from these summer study tours have praised the experience as unforgettable and eye-opening, and it has changed their lives (see sample testimonials included below).

Program Description:

This is an intensive, immersion program to enhance the participants’ understanding of the cultural and historical background of China, Korea, and Japan during the Asia-Pacific War 1931-1945. The study tour’s schedule includes discussion of the history of Sino-Japan and Korea-Japan relations, visits to museums and historical sites, meeting with and collecting oral histories from survivors of wartime atrocities, and participation in briefing sessions and lectures held by scholars, professors and educators. A main objective of the tour is to develop ideas and teaching material/methods in using and enhancing the New Jersey Curriculum Guide:”The Nanking Massacre and Other Japanese Military Atrocities, The Asia-Pacific War:  1931-1945.”

The 2014 Asia Study Tour is scheduled for July 12-24, 2014 (the tour dates have been changed from the previously announced dates of July 4-20, 2014 . The cities that will be visited include Shanghai, Nanjing, and Harbin in China, and Seoul in South Korea (the itinerary has also been changed from the previously announced itinerary, and the tour will no longer visit Japan, in order to make the tour affordable to more people).


NJ-ALPHA will provide scholarships that will pay for all group in-country travel expenses, accommodations (double occupancy), meals, and admission expenses in China and South Korean during the period of the 13-day study tour. Current estimate for this cost is approximately $2,500 per participant. Participants are responsible for their own international transportation expenses from the U.S. to Shanghai, from Harbin to Seoul, and from Seoul back to the U.S, plus visa application fees, any medical insurance if needed, and miscellaneous personal expenses. . Current estimate for this cost to each participant is approximately $2,000, or slightly more. A $200.00 deposit is required and paid to NJ-ALPHA upon acceptance into the program; this deposit will be refunded upon submission of a reflection essay to NJ-ALPHA and a proposed lesson plan or equivalent educational project or a public presentation after completion of the tour.

Application Details:

A completed application (click on “Application Form” button below) with all associated documents must be received by February 15, 2014. All history/social science/humanity secondary school/college teachers/educators in the NJ/NY area, as well as other parts of Eastern U.S., are invited to apply.

Download study tour application form

Application can be submitted via email to, or via post office mail to

P. O. Box 1121
Piscataway, NJ 08855

Applicants may be interviewed in person or over the phone by NJ-ALPHA or Toronto ALPHA. Selection of applicants will be announced around the beginning of April 2014.

Participants will be required to participate in one or more pre-tour meetings. Besides attending the pre-tour meetings, participants are expected to:

  • Attend all scheduled visits and sessions during the study tour
  • Incorporate some of their learnings and experiences in their history/social science/humanity courses
  • Share study-tour experience with colleagues through presentations in their schools, communities, professional associations, and/or other channels
  • Share study-tour experience with NJ-ALPHA members and others, including the public
  • Contribute to the further development and supplementation of the Curriculum Guide on “The Nanking Massacre and Other Japanese Military Atrocities, The Asia-Pacific War: 1931-1945″.

Testimonials from Participants of Previous Asia Study Tours:

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