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Lehigh University partners with Rice University to host TOMODACHI-STEM, a five-week research internship program for female undergraduates from Japan who are majoring in science and engineering.

Held at Rice University in Houston, Texas, and Lehigh University, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, TOMODACHI-STEM is a catalyst for female Japanese students interested in science and engineering study and research and engagement with the U.S. through international research collaborations. Participants get real-world experience with science and engineering research, an introduction to U.S. higher education and opportunities for cultural engagement and collaboration with U.S. students.

In summer 2020, Lehigh’s Iacocca Institute will provide virtual programming for TOMODACHI-STEM participants, with activities related to career development, team building, research investigation and virtual exchange with Lehigh STEM students. Participants will use several online platforms to engage with each other and their American virtual roommates, participate in enrichment workshops and meet the faculty and students they will meet when they come to Rice and Lehigh to complete their research experience. They will also gain valuable English language and networking skills and the opportunity to present themselves and their academic interests to STEM professionals to develop their own networks.

Then in spring 2021, the TOMODACHI-STEM participants will travel to the U.S. to work in a science or engineering research lab at Rice or Lehigh under the guidance of a U.S. host professor and a U.S. graduate student research mentor. Research host labs will be assigned in late January 2021 and research projects will be developed in consultation with the host professor.

For more information about TOMODACHI-STEM, please contact Jen Topp at