A Project of Japan-United States Collaboration Group, APA International Division

International Student

Peer Pairing Program (ISP3)

Program Summary

Purpose: Connecting planning school students in Japan and the United States

Activity: Share Knowledge, Exchange Opinions, Learn Cultures, Collaborate on Research

Registration: Ongoing. No Deadline.

Program Period: Starting from January 2022, and every following odd-numbered month

Program Length: 12 weeks

Fee: Free

Eligibility: Students in planning or planning-related majors at universities in Japan or the United States

Social Media: Facebook, LinkedIn

Contact: Jing Zhang, AICP jingzhangaicp@gmail.com

The International Student Peer Pairing Program (ISP3) connects students in the planning schools in Japan and the United States and provides them with opportunities to share ideas and information. It is developed and implemented by the Japan-United States Collaboration Group (JUSCG) of the American Planning Association International Division (APA ID).

The program is to help participants of both countries to:

  • Broaden their perspectives and knowledge in urban planning and design.

  • Build intercultural competence through interacting with international partners.

  • Develop friendships with planners around the world.


Participants must be students in planning or planning-related majors of a university in Japan or the United States.

The program will be launched in January 2022. Enrollment is open in each odd-numbered month (January, March, May, July, September, November). There is no deadline. The registration form is available here.

The program is free for everyone, including those who are not APA members.

How It Works

Peer pairings will be based on the information from completed application forms. Participants have the option to choose one-to-one pairing (one partner) or one-to-multiple pairing (more than one partner).

The program length is 12 weeks. During the program period, participants are encouraged to be creative in their knowledge exchange and collaboration. Potential activities include:

  • Discussing ideas about urban planning and design;

  • Sharing and discussing class materials and topics;

  • Collaborating on school projects and researches;

  • Sharing views about their education, experience, and life, and being friends.

At the conclusion of the program, participants are asked to complete a self-evaluation form and a peer evaluation form for performance assessment. Successful participants will:

  • Receive a certificate for completing the program and be recognized on the APA ID website;

  • Be invited to publish an article sharing the pairing experience on InterPlan.

Pilot Period (September - December 2021)

To gauge interest and identify any potential problems, A Facebook group and a LinkedIn group are created to involve interested students, educators, and practitioners before launching the program. They are platforms to share ideas about the programs and planning topics in general.

The testing period is from September to December 2021. After the testing periods, the Facebook group and LinkedIn group will continue to function as supporting platforms for the Program.