Study in Japan


College and University Programs in Japan administered by U.S. Institutions

Study-abroad programs in Japan that are administered by organizations in the United States are of several types. Some are direct one-to-one exchange programs for students at colleges and universities that have exchange agreements with counterparts in Japan. These programs offer several advantages to students at the sponsoring schools: there is generally no interruption or delay in the student's scheduled course of study or graduation date; students earn credits at their own institution for work done abroad; tuition bills are often the same as at the home school; financial aid is usually transferable and usable during the study-abroad period.

If you are a student at a college or university that has an exchange program with a college in Japan, your international programs office will be able to advise you. Exchange programs range from the one at Kansai Gaidai, which has exchange agreements with several dozen U.S. universities and colleges and offers a full curriculum in English as well as Japanese-language courses for overseas students, to those like the exchange relationships between the University of Montana and Kumamoto University or between Arizona State University and Hiroshima Shudo University.

Students at many colleges are eligible to participate in consortium programs sponsored by groups of U.S. colleges or universities. Information about these programs is available from the sponsoring institutions as well as from the study-abroad office on your own campus.

Another type of study-abroad experience is offered by the American universities with branch campuses in Japan. Branch campuses of US universities offer students the option of study in Japan on the same basis (in terms of tuition and credit) as if they were enrolled at the home campuses. Students from the United States can take courses in English as well as study Japanese. Three US universities maintain campuses in Japan: Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, Michigan State University, and Temple University.  The student bodies of the branch campuses often have almost equal numbers of Japanese and American students, as well as students from other countries.

Finally, American students have the option of participating in study-abroad programs offered by independent organizations like Council (Council on International Educational Exchange), or IES (Institute for the International Education of Students). These programs can be more expensive than exchange or branch-campus programs, but they offer independent or non-affiliated students the chance to live and study in Japan. They often include homestays and travel as part of the study-abroad package.

The Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies (IUC) offers an intensive, 10-month program of study in advanced spoken and written Japanese.

American University's Dual Undergraduate Degree Program with Ritsumeikan University allows students to spend two years in Washington, D.C. at American University followed by two years in Kyoto at Ritsumeikan University earning two Bachelor of Arts Degrees. This program is ideal for students with a high school background in Japanese language studies.

This program, available only in the fall semester (September to December), offers students a unique way to study the history, philosophy, and cultural expressions of Buddhism in Japan. Students also have the opportunity to study Japanese language, to experience directly a variety of Buddhist meditative practices, and to explore their own interests through a directed research project.

The Associated Kyoto Program (AKP) is a two-semester study-abroad program at Doshisha University in Kyoto, sponsored by a consortium of American colleges and universities. The 40 to 50 students accepted for the program each year study the Japanese language intensively and take courses in English on Japan, mainly in the humanities and social sciences.

The Council on International Educational Exchange (Council) [] has a study abroad program at Sophia University in Tokyo. Participants have the opportunity to select from a wide variety of courses taught in English in the areas of Japanese Studies, Asian Studies, international business, economics, history, international relations, political science, art history, literature, religion, philosophy, anthropology, and sociology, in addition to Japanese language courses at a wide range of levels.

Hosted by KCP International Japanese Language School, and sponsored by Lincoln University, College Consortium for International Studies (CCIS) offers an intensive Japanese language and Culture program five times a year at all academic levels. Students earn over one year of university level Japanese each semester and participate in a culture class that features numerous educational and exciting excursions and cultural activities to develop a deeper understanding of Japanese culture, history, and society.

The Institute for the International Education of Students (IES) offers three programs for study in Japan--two in Nagoya and one in Tokyo.

Michigan's state university system established a campus in Hikone, Shiga Prefecture, in 1989. The center's facilities were constructed by Shiga Prefecture, and the campus is administered under the auspices of a consortium of 15 Michigan public universities. Students who attend the Center for either a semester or an academic year pursue studies in Japanese language and culture; the Center also offers independent study options and encourages students in other specialties to apply.

Administered by Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, and recognized by the Great Lakes College Association (GLCA) and the Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM), the Japan Study program is one of the longest running study abroad programs in Japan. Participants in the program live with a host family in Tokyo, study at prestigious Waseda University, spend a month with a rural family in Shimane Prefecture during a break between terms, and have the opportunity to become involved in extracurricular activities with Japanese university students.

KCP International Japanese Language School, a not-for-profit educational institution, provides intensive Japanese language immersion in Tokyo for the serious student. In the semester programs, students attend full-immersion classes at KCP’s Shinjuku campus 20 hours per week for about 11 weeks, earning one year or more of university-level language credit each term. Language classes are taught in Japanese at 6 proficiency levels. With a student-teacher ratio of 11:1, classes consist of students from other parts of Asia as well as Americans and other English-speaking students.

KCJS, located in Kyoto, Japan, is a rigorous academic program primarily for undergraduates. The program offers intensive Japanese language instruction and a broad range of disciplinary courses in Japanese humanities and social sciences, enrichment opportunities, and social connections, focused on Japan. Courses are taught in English as well as in Japanese by leading American and Japanese professors.

The Middlebury School in Japan, based at International Christian University in the Mitaka neighborhood of Tokyo, is designed for students at the intermediate-advanced level of Japanese who are committed to developing their language skills. All students on the program adhere to the Middlebury Language Pledge®, a commitment to linguistic immersion while abroad.

SIU-Carbondale's Japan program, located in the west coast town of Nakajo in Niigata, offers both semester- and year-based opportunities to become competent at intercultural communication. The purpose of ISJP is to help each student develop intercultural competence through the study of language, culture, and optional courses. No prior training in Japanese is required, and the program is open to students in any major.

Temple University was the first US university to establish a branch campus in Japan; founded in 1982, the Japan campus has an enrollment of 2,000 students and a faculty of 75. Located in the heart of Tokyo in Minami Azabu, Temple University Japan occupies seven floors of a new office building. Degrees are offered in a variety of majors in the social sciences and humanities. TUJ is the first post-secondary educational institution to be designated a Foreign University, Japan Campus, by the Japanese Ministry of Education.

Waseda University, in partnership with Portland State University offers two Japanese Language & Culture Programs for students and professionals. All programs take place at Waseda University in Tokyo. The Waseda Oregon Transnational Program is a Japanese language and comparative US-Japan Societies study program that matches US-based and other international students with regular Waseda University students in the classroom.