Fall semester: October - January
Spring semester: April - July
Language of Instruction:
English & Japanese
Kwansei Gakuin University
An efficient network of public of transportation affords easy access to Nishinomiya and surrounding areas. Easy day-trips include boat rides through the luch, garden-like islands of the Inland Sea, the seventh-century Buddhist temples of Nara, the ancient capital of Kyoto with its cobbled streets, paper lanterns, wooden buildings, and kimono-clad geisha, and the industrial metropolis of Kobe with its European flavor.
The cultural heartland of ancient Japan and the latest wonders of modern technology surround Kwansei Gakuin and the Osaka area. Osaka is situated between low mountains and a great natural harbor. Since the age of warriors and Shogun, it has been a center of merchant houses and foreign trade, boasting a magnificent castle and unique local traditions.
KGU is located in Nishinomiya, between Kobe and Osake, on the main island of Japan. Nishinomiya, a city with a population of 400,000, is in one of the most beautiful areas of Japan. Kwansei Gakuin University is an independent institution for higher education, offering Bachelor's, Master's and Ph.D. degrees in over 30 different disciplines to a student body of approximately 17,000. Founded in 1889 by Methodist missionaries, the University maintains academic standards that rank among the highest of all Japanese colleges and universities. The Nishinomiya-Uegahara campus is home to the Japanese Studies Program along with the School of Business Administration, Economics, Humanities, Law, Science, Sociology, and Theology. The Kobe-Sanda campus, which is the locale for the School of Policy Studies, is located within an hour's commute from the Nishinomiya-Uegahara campus.
Program in Brief:
The aim of this program is to promote a better understanding of the cultural, religious, social, economic, and political aspects of Japan. The Japanese Language Courses aim to develop the student's command of Japanese language through intensive language study and the Japanese Studies Courses are electives to introduce various aspects of contemporary Japan, and are conducted in English. Participants take a combination of these courses.
The study of Japanese is the core of this program and students immerse themselves in Japanese daily life. KGU encourages participants to communicate as much as possible in Japanese with Japanese students, homestay families and university faculty members. As exchange student numbers are limited, students receive instruction in small classes and staff members get to know every exchange student personally.
Small class size, a well-established homestay program, and a variety of activities both on and off campus challenge participants to learn about Japan and share their own background with KGU students.
Academic Program & Areas of Study:
All students are required to enroll in a Japanese language class each semester. A placement test is given during orientation at KGU to ensure the correct level of language instruction.
Another required course, called "Contemporary Japan," is designed to acquaint students with various aspects of contemporary Japan and to furnish them with an overall ability in the practical use of current Japanese.
The combined study of an intensive course and "Contemporary Japan" enables students to develop their command of Japanese in a short period of time.
Three out of five levels of Japanese courses are offered for 90 minutes, eight times a week for the Fall and Spring Semester. Elective language courses are offered for advanced level students to develop their writing skills and knowledge of current Japanese topics.
Housing & Meals:
One learns the most about Japanese life by living among the Japanese. The International Programs Office staff at Kwansei Gakuin places the student with a family that has KGU students or students of similar age, or among Japanese students.
Daily life, as in other Japanese cities, offers students a choice of ancient or modern, Western or Japanese styles. Residence with a Japanese family will likely offer a view of straw-mat floors, paper screens, and traditional customs, along with modern conveniences. Students should expect a daily commute of up to one hour to and from school.
The Japanese are eager to speak English and make friends with Americans; guides for the lost are abundant, and street crime is virtually non-existent. Students choose their food in sandwich and coffee shops or raw fish taverns.
Another housing option, for male students only, is at the Yukoryo International House, a small fraternity type house which accommodates twelve male students, the majority of whom are Japanese with just two exchange students, living together like a family. House parents live in and prepare meals (breakfast and dinner) Monday through Saturday. The Yukoryo is located on the KGU campus.